The oldest jewelry in Europe, 41,500 years old, made of mammoth bone

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One carved pendant made of mammoth tusks, with an oval shape, which dates back to about 41,500 years old and found in the Stajnia cave in Poland, is considered the oldest known piece of jewelry made by humans Homo sapiens in Eurasia.

It was probably worn around the neck and comes to shed more light on when people started wearing “jewelry”.

Researchers from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bologna, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the Polish Academy of Sciences, led by Professor Sara Talamo, published a report in the journal Nature Scientific Reports that Humans began producing small ornaments – samples of symbolic behavior – as early as 37,000 to 42,000 years ago, as they spread to Europe and Asia.

The dating of the pendant, made using the radioactive carbon method, places it about 2,000 years earlier than other related objects previously found in France and Germany.

Along with the pendant were found a sharp tool made of horse bone that was probably used as a needle, as well as other animal bones.

The decoration of the pendant, 4.5 cm long, 1.5 cm wide and 3.7 mm thick, includes two holes (probably to be hung with a thread from them) and at least 50 tiny marks that form an asymmetrical pattern.

The pendant may have served as an amulet during the hunt for wild animals or its decoration was associated with astronomical symbols such as the circles of the Moon and the Sun.

Among other things, the discovery shows that Poland had modern humans about 10,000 years earlier than previously thought. “Poland supposedly did not have Homo sapiens at that time,” said Dr. Talamo.

The address for the scientific publication:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-01221-6

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