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Lifelines: Canada's East Coast Fisheries

Cross Currents
500 Generations of Aboriginal Fishing 
in Atlantic Canada
6,000 Years Ago: 
Atlantic Canada Emerges
Cross Currents: 
500 Generations of Aboriginal Fishing in Atlantic Canada


A Uniquely Maritime Invention

This 7,500-year-old harpoon head from L'Anse Amour, Labrador is one of the earliest examples of toggling technology known in North America. The toggling harpoon is a sophisticated technique specifically designed for hunting sea mammals. The harpoon is detachable from the spear shaft but, once thrust into the animal, remains fastened to a retrievable line, preventing the sea mammal from escaping or sinking.

Harpoon Head - 
Newfoundland Museum - Photograph: David Keenlyside

Harpoon Head (Replica)
L'Anse Amour, Labrador
ca. 5500 B.C.
Length: 2.5 inches
Collection: Newfoundland Museum, St. John's, Newfoundland, EiBf-4:112c



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