Date:

Mammoth ivory pendant may be earliest decorated jewellery found in Eurasia

A pendant made from mammoth ivory may be the earliest example of decorated jewellery found in Eurasia.

The pendant was discovered in the Stajnia Cave, a natural rock shelter located on the northern side of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland in southern Poland

- Advertisement -

The site has been investigated since 2006, where researchers found a series of Neanderthal remains within a large collection of bones of Late Pleistocene steppe-tundra species, in addition to Middle and Upper Palaeolithic artefacts left by Homo Sapiens.

Finds include an awl fragment, animal bones, some stone tools and pieces of a pendant made from mammoth ivory decorated with 50 dots that draw an irregular circular curve. Researchers dated the pendant using a radiocarbon analysis that places the find to 41,500 years ago.

The pendant was also analysed with digital methods, starting with a micro-tomographic scan to virtually reconstruct the artefact, allowing the detailed measurement and study of the decorations.

From the beginning of their dispersal in central and western Europe, groups of Homo sapiens began to use the ivory of mammoth tusks for the production of pendants and figurines, and sometimes to decorate them with geometric patterns. The alignment of dots can be found in similar finds from southwestern France and in some figurines from the Swabian Alb in Germany.

- Advertisement -

Wioletta Nowaczewska of the University of Wrocław said: “The pendant shows great creativity and extraordinary manual dexterity of the Homo sapiens that occupied the site: the thickness of the plaque is about 3.7 millimetres and shows the surprising precision in engraving the dots and the two holes to wear it.”

Adam Nadachowski from the Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals Polish Academy of Science said: “Whether these signs indicate a lunar calendar, or a count of hunted prey is yet to be discovered; however, it is fascinating that similar decorations have appeared so independently from one part of Europe”.

Università di Bologna

Header Image Credit : Antonino Vazzana/BONES Lab

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 8,000 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia

Archaeologists from ARKIKUS have announced the discovery of a Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia, a former Roman town in Hispania, now located in the province of Álava, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort

Bodbury Ring is a univallate hillfort, strategically located at the southern tip of Bodbury Hill in Shropshire, England.

Lost crusader altar discovered in holiest site of Christendom

Archaeologists from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), working in collaboration with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), have discovered a lost crusader altar in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Viking arrowhead found frozen in ice

Archaeologists from the “Secrets of the Ice” project have discovered a Viking Era arrowhead during a survey of an ice site in the Jotunheimen Mountains.

Underwater archaeologists find 112 glassware objects off Bulgaria’s coast

A team of underwater archaeologists from the Regional Historical Museum Burgas have recovered 112 glass objects from Chengene Skele Bay, near Burgas, Bulgaria.

Bronze Age axe found off Norway’s east coast

Archaeologists from the Norwegian Maritime Museum have discovered a Bronze Age axe off the coast of Arendal in the Skagerrak strait.

Traces of Bahrain’s lost Christian community found in Samahij

Archaeologists from the University of Exeter, in collaboration with the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, have discovered the first physical evidence of a long-lost Christian community in Samahij, Bahrain.

Archaeologists uncover preserved wooden elements from Neolithic settlement

Archaeologists have discovered wooden architectural elements at the La Draga Neolithic settlement.