TPO – Scientists have solved the mystery of the grisly death of the amputated prehistoric human skeleton named Tsukumo No. 24. Accordingly, Tsukumo is said to have been attacked to death by sharks with little At least 790 tooth marks reached the bone 3,000 years ago.
The team of researchers led by Oxford say the prehistoric man most likely lost his right leg and left arm during the attack. Serious injuries resulted in his death because a total of at least 790 tooth marks (sharks) reached the victim’s bones.
New research on Tsukumo No. 24, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, also suggests that the victim may have died relatively quickly from hemorrhagic shock after being bitten by a shark.
The team has called Tsukumo No. 24 the world’s oldest shark attack victim ever recorded.
Radiocarbon dating, Tsukumo number 24 lived between 1370 and 1010 BC during the fishing-hunter-gatherer era in prehistoric Japan. This was the Jōmon period and shark hunting was possible. It is estimated that the victim was only 1.5m tall. The victim’s skeleton was excavated around 1920 from the Tsukumo cemetery in Okayama near Japan’s Seto Inland Sea.
At first, the researchers were baffled by the victim’s gruesome injuries. Deep serrated wounds of various sizes and shapes covered the victim’s bones. One hand was amputated and one leg was missing.
Map of distribution of traumatic injuries by Tsukumo No. 24. Red points represent bite wounds, orange indicates overlapping bites, and purple indicates fault lines.
They do not know how or why the victim had such severe injuries.
Through the process of exclusion, the researchers began to suspect that the victim was attacked by a shark.
They consulted modern forensic data on shark attacks for clues and consulted with George Burgess, Emeritus Director of the Shark Research Program in Florida.
Burgess agreed with the researchers’ assessment that a shark inflicted horrific, deadly wounds on the man.
The scientists also recreated Tsukumo 24’s wound models by mapping them onto a 3D model of a human skeleton. The location of the wounds indicates that the victim was alive at the time of the attack and may have lost his arm trying to defend himself.
Such vivid details immediately paint a detailed picture of the ill-fated man’s struggle with the shark.
Study co-author Mark Hudson, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, said: “Nevertheless, this discovery not only provides a new perspective on ancient Japan, but also a rare example of how archaeologists were able to reconstruct a dramatic period in the life of a prehistoric community”.
Based on the teeth marks, they believe that the shark that attacked Tsukumo was a tiger shark or a great white. Remains of both species of sharks have also been found in the area.