Hunting Sea Mammals
lthough the pursuit
of sea mammals has continued from earliest times, the strongest
archaeological evidence comes from cemetery sites in
Newfoundland and Labrador. The 4,000-year-old Port au Choix and
Twillingate sites in Newfoundland provide a rare glimpse into
the lives and technologies of ancient sea-mammal hunters.
Fixed-shaft, long-barbed spears made effective thrusting weapons.
Toggling harpoons could be driven into the mammal and retrieved
with an attached line. Ground slate and flaked stone made
effective end blades for both fixed and detachable harpoons.
Stylistic differences reflect differences in technology, regional
cultural preferences and changes through time.