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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Origin of fish keeping

Home aquariums provide many hours of enjoyment for my entire family. We are bless to have them. I take aquarium keeping as a hobby. My aquarium fishes(koi and Shubunkin goldfish) in this image are of pond variety. I have compiled this time a short note on the origin of fish keeping and aquarium history. It is also a little about the use of fish sign and symbol in our Harappan civilization.

I guess the origin of aquarium keeping started around for about as long as consuming fish as a food. Most probably, the origins of aquaculture most likely originated when fish were trapped in some type of enclosure after monsoon floods receded.

Archeological evidence of fish-keeping dates back to the Sumerians (2500 BC) and the Babylonians (500 BC).

Egyptians considered fish sacred, worshiping the Nile Perch among others. Romans also kept fish in tanks but perhaps not for as decorative purposes as the Chinese; keeping them fresh for the dinner table.

The Chinese, who raised carp for food as early as 2000 BC, were probably the first to breed fish with any degree of success. Their selective breeding of ornamental goldfish was later introduced to Japan, where the breeding of ornamental carp was perfected.

The ancient Romans, who kept fish for food and entertainment, were the first known marine aquarists; they constructed ponds that were supplied with fresh seawater from the ocean.

As far as I have studied about Harappan civilization in Pakistan, it is quite obvious that in Harappa pictures have been found showing fishes as a sacred object. They have occupied a central position in the Harappan civilization. No doubt, fish appears to symbolize as the God of Waters.

Further studies from the early Harappan life shows that the Harappans used the fish sign to represent a star or a planet. The reason why 'fish' and not 'star' was selected to represent the concept of 'god' seems to be that in the Early Harappan religion the fish occupied a central position. Fish is one of the most popular motifs of the Early Harappan painted pottery. This image is of an "Early Harappan" polychrome pot with fish design from Nal, South Baluchistan, Pakistan.

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