For decades the study of fish bones was considered one of the most esoteric branches of archaeology, but now it is helping to reveal the massive significance of the fishing trade in the Middle Ages.
New research co-ordinated by archaeologists at the University of York will spotlight the earliest development of Europe's sea fisheries and, given the continuous expansion of sea fishing since the Middle Ages, the ultimate origin of today's fishing crisis.
The three-year project, financed by the Leverhulme Trust and also supported by HMAP, the historical branch of the Census of Marine Life, will involve researchers across Northern Europe.
It builds on earlier research by the project team which discovered that extensive sea fishing began in Europe 1,000 years ago. A major shift from freshwater to sea fishing was due to a combination of climate, population growth and religion.
UPDATE: More here.