The Swordfish Hunters

The History and Ecology of an Ancient American Sea People

Thousands of years ago, Maine’s Red Paint People, so called because of the red ochre in their burial sites, were among the first maritime cultures in the Americas. They could have subsisted on easily caught cod, but they chose to capture dangerous and elusive swordfish. This book explains beautifully the prehistory of these people, the evolution of archaeological thinking about them, and the myriad new scientific threads that shed new light on this old culture. Anyone with even a passing interest in New England’s deep maritime roots must read this book.

Bruce Bourque of Freeport, ME BRUCE BOURQUE is Curator of Archaeology at the Maine State Museum, and teaches anthropology at Bates College in Lewiston, ME. He grew up in Massachusetts but spent boyhood summers in Maine, where he heard stories of the Red Paint People. Educated at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Colorado, and Harvard University, he matriculated in engineering school, but found his attention drawn to thoughts of the past. Eventually, he found his way to archaeology and hasn't looked back.

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