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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Comparative Fish Bones

July 21, 2016

Fish BonesThe sizes of fish bones provide an indication of the size and age of the fish and can suggest what methods might have been used for taking the fish, such as netting, spearing, or using fishhooks. Bones of different sizes of modern black bullhead catfish are shown on left. The archaeological specimens can be compared to the modern specimens and the size and age of the fish determined. A 25 gm fish (third from bottom) would be about 4 inches long, similar to the fish seen on the right. Fish of this size could have been caught in nets.