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whale plummet

Amazing Seacoast "Whale" Artifact

One of the most intriguing prehistoric artifacts discovered in Seacoast New Hampshire appears to be shaped like a whale or porpoise. Archeologists speculate, though no one knows for sure, that it may have been used as a sinker weight or plummet to weigh down a fishing line It may, instead, have been some sort of religious totem that was suspended by the hole in the "tail" of the fish. It is presumed to have been carved from stone in the Late Archaic period of Native American culture that dates from 3,500 to 5,000 years ago. This fish effigy was first described in a professional archeology periodical published in 1874. Today the artifact is on display at the Barlett Museum in Amesbury, Massachusetts.

Click for modern discovery: Mystery Stone Fish!!

Source: Bulletin of the Essex Institute (now Peabody Essex Museum), Vol V, Salem, Mass., 1874.

Illustration Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. MA.

©1997, 1998, 1999 SeacoastNH.com. All rights reserved.

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