The great white shark may have been responsible for the world’s oldest recorded shark attack, leaving 790 tooth marks
An ancient ancestor of Seasonal visitors to Cape Cod may have been the culprit for the oldest recorded shark attack in the world.
A great white shark was one of the two most likely species responsible for the attack about 3,000 years ago in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan. This is according to a recent report in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
The adult male victim – who was likely alive at the time of the incident – was attacked by a great white shark or tiger shark, researchers said.
Prehistoric man most likely lost his right leg and left hand in the attack, and his injuries would have been fatal as the shark left at least 790 tooth marks that reached the bone.
“Sharks rarely attack humans or scavenge their remains, but when they do attack, the danger they pose is considerable,” the researchers wrote. “A prehistoric man from the Japanese archipelago learned it too well.”
Modern shark attacks are rare and archaeological examples are even rarer, the earliest known case dating back 1,000 years.
This new report reveals a shark attack on an adult male radiocarbon that dates back around 3,000 years to the time of the Jomon fisherman-hunter-gatherer of the Japanese archipelago. The individual – identified as Tsukumo # 24 – was buried at the Tsukumo site near the Seto Inland Sea in Japan, where modern shark attacks have been reported.
“Although many blood vessels and organs were affected, it is likely that at least her larger arteries in her lower limbs would have been severed early in the attack,” the researchers wrote. “It would have resulted in relatively rapid death from hypovolemic shock.”
His body was recovered and he was buried according to Jomon normative burial practices in a mound of seashells, which preserved his body in excellent condition – and allowed researchers to understand the unusual and tragic circumstances that led to his death.
“Tsukumo attack # 24 highlights the risks of sea fishing and scuba diving or, perhaps, the risks of opportunistic hunting for bloodshot sharks while fishing,” the researchers wrote. . “Humans have a long history in common with sharks, and this is one of the relatively rare cases where humans were on their menu and not the other way around.”