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Prehistoric Fishing Lure

National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

Modern fishing tackle may look different from that of the hunter-gatherer peoples who once lived in the Lower Pecos Canyon lands of southwest Texas, but these deep canyons and clear waters have been popular with anglers for millennia. This bundle of naturally curved fishhook cactus spines is probably part of an ancient fishing lure. Tufts of fine fibers may have been tied to it, and the individual hooks angled outward in different directions, as with a treble hook. In other examples the hooks are oriented in the same direction to reinforce each other. In a recent experiment, archeologists caught a fish using a replica fishhook cactus spine lure.

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  • Title: Prehistoric Fishing Lure
  • Contributor: Amistad National Recreation Area
  • Park Website: Park Website
  • Other Related Links: Collections on the Web Catalog
  • National Park Service Catalog Number: AMIS 21646
  • Measurements: L 5.0, W 1.0 cm
  • Material: Fishhook cactus spines
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