Scientists have discovered in the Sahara desert the remains of a catfish that lived in this region during the early Holocene (10,200 to 4,650 BC). A study by an international group of scientists is published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Now the Tadrart-Akakus Mountains, located in the Sahara desert in Libya, are a lifeless region. However, archaeological finds show that during the early Holocene, this area was quite rich in water – and, as a result, life. This is evidenced by the numerous settlements of early people, and the diverse fauna, traces of which were discovered by archaeologists.
In a new study, a group of scientists excavated parts of the stone shelter of the ancient people of Takarkori to identify and date the remains of animals found on this site, and to study changes in their numbers over time.
Most of the remains that scientists were able to find belonged to fish (about 80%). The remaining 19% and 1% of the fossils belonged to mammals and mollusks.
Analysis of the age of the remains showed that the number of fish in this region decreased over time (from 90% in 10.2 thousand to 8 thousand years BC compared with 40% about 5.9 thousand to 4.6 thousand years BC). Moreover, the number of mammals at this time remained stable. The result of the study indicates that the ancient people in this region first ate mainly fish, and then focused on hunting and animal husbandry.