Fire fishing

Discovery Archaeology has an article on fire fishing from ancient times. The New Testament mentions the men fishing all night and finding no fish, then Jesus commanding them to cast their nets back in and the boats almost floundering (no pun intended) from so many fish.

Fishermen around areas mentioned in the New Testament worked the night shift, suggests fishing gear found in a 7th century shipwreck off the coast of Dor, Israel, west of Galilee, where Jesus is said to have preached.

The standout item among the found gear is a fire basket, the first evidence for “fire fishing” in the ancient eastern Mediterranean. Early images and writings indicate fires were lit in such baskets, which were suspended in giant lantern devices from the end of fishing boats.

Light emitted from the fire both attracted and illuminated fish, as well as other sea creatures, like octopus, which men then speared or captured in nets.

The researchers, from the Israel Antiquities Authority, added that the ancient Greek philosopher Plato (approximately 428-348 B.C.) wrote about the practice, which involved striking fish forcefully from above or below the water.

The fact that Plato should write about this method “reflects the importance of fire fishing in the ancient Mediterranean,” according to the researchers, and reveals that fire fishing was practiced throughout the New Testament era and for several centuries thereafter.

This might be a good point for Dielli when we get to the third book.