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Historic jewelry: Mammoth ivory pendant is oldest embellished decoration in Eurasia

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A pendant carved with mysterious dots and unearthed in a Polish cave is regarded as over 40,000 years outdated


25 November 2021

The pendant is embellished with dots in an asymmetrical loop sample

Antonino Vazzana – BONES Lab

A pendant carved from mammoth ivory is the oldest recognized ornate jewelry made by people in Eurasia. The invention is shaking up our understanding of the emergence of so-called symbolic behaviours within the area.

The oval-shaped pendant, 4.5 centimetres lengthy and 1.5 cm large, was unearthed in Stajnia collapse Poland. It has two holes drilled into it, presumably for use for thread, and is embellished with a sequence of greater than 50 small indents in a looping curve.

“It’s a phenomenal piece of previous work from Homo sapiens, a tremendous piece of jewelry,” says Sahra Talamo on the College of Bologna, Italy, who led the workforce that analysed the pendant.

Utilizing a brand new radiocarbon relationship approach, the researchers found that the pendant was created 41,500 years in the past, making it the oldest of its form present in Eurasia. “We have been fairly shocked,” Talamo says.

This predates different objects and private ornaments with punctured dot motifs present in France and Germany by 2000 years. It additionally highlights Poland as an necessary area for creative innovation for the primary wave of recent people in Europe who developed new varieties of ornament for his or her our bodies as a marker of non-public or cultural identification.

The sample of dots on the ivory kinds an asymmetrical loop, however precisely what they imply remains to be an open query, says Talamo. “Essentially the most stunning interpretation is that it’s a lunar calendar,” she says.

The motif is much like the one discovered on the Blanchard plaque from France, an engraved bone dated to round 30,000 years in the past, which has been postulated to be a searching tally to rely the variety of animals killed, or a marker of the place of the moon over time.

The excavations on the Stajnia cave additionally reveal how trendy people have been in Poland round 10,000 years sooner than beforehand thought. “Poland was not alleged to have Homo sapiens there at the moment,” says Talamo.

Journal reference: Scientific Studies, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-01221-6

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