According to a new study, woolly mammoth jewelry was the first example of humans in Europe using ornate decoration.
According to researchers, decorations etched into ivory 41,000 years ago change our understanding of Homo sapiens in Europe.
According to a new study, a pendant made from mammoth tusk is the earliest known example of ornate jewelry made by humans in Europe.
The 41,500-year-old artifact, discovered in Poland’s Stajnia Cave in 2010, has the potential to transform our understanding of how and when modern humans spread across Europe.
It was discovered during the earliest period that Homo sapiens is known to have arrived on the continent.
The species first appeared in Africa between 300,000 and 100,000 years ago, before migrating to other parts of the globe.
Two holes and a looping line of punctures adorn the oval pendant.
The awl and other worked bone fragments were discovered alongside it in the cave.
“This piece of jewelry demonstrates the extraordinary creativity and manual skills of members of the Homo sapiens group that occupied the site,” said Wioletta Nowaczewska of Wroclaw University, one of the study’s co-authors.
However, the cave’s age had remained a mystery due to several brief occupations by Homo sapiens and Neanderthals over time.
Following the extinction of the Neanderthals, Poland was widely assumed to have remained deserted for thousands of years.
However, after its age was determined using radiocarbon dating, the pendant changes that picture.
“The ages of the ivory pendant and the bone awl discovered at Stajnia Cave finally demonstrate that Homo sapiens dispersed as early as in Central and Western Europe,” study co-author Andrea Picin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig said.
He went on to say that the discovery would “shift perceptions about how adaptable these early groups were.”
Over 50 puncture marks in an irregular looping curve, as well as two complete holes, adorn the pendant.
According to the researchers, the pattern of indentations – which is similar to later jewelry discovered in Europe – could represent “kill scores” or lunar notations that correspond to the moon’s or sun’s monthly cycle.
The study involved experts from the Max Planck Institute, the University of Bologna, Wroclaw University, the Polish Geological Institute, and the Kraków Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals.
“We’re ecstatic,” Sahra Talamo said of the outcome.
UK news summary from Infosurhoy
According to a new study, woolly mammoth jewelry is the earliest example of humans using ornate decoration in Europe.
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Woolly mammoth jewellery is earliest example of humans using ornate decoration in Europe, says new study