SCI 41,500-year-old decorated ivory pendant made from Mammoth bone is discovered in a cave in Poland

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Ancient bling! 41,500-year-old decorated ivory pendant made from MAMMOTH bone is discovered in a cave in Poland and may be the earliest known example of ornate jewellery in Eurasia, study claims

  • The stunning pendant was found in a cave in Poland back in 2010
  • Using radiocarbon dating, researchers have dated it back 41,500 years
  • This places it within the record of earliest dispersals of Homo sapiens in Europe
By SHIVALI BEST FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 16:00, 25 November 2021 | UPDATED: 16:09, 25 November 202

An intricately decorated ivory pendant made from mammoth bone has been discovered in Poland, and may be the oldest example of ornate jewellery found in Eurasia yet.

The pendant dates back around 41,500 years, placing it within the record of the earliest dispersals of Homo sapiens in Europe.
It features patterns of over 50 puncture marks in an irregular looping curve, and two complete holes, which could represent hunting tallies or lunar notations, according to the researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

'If the Stajnia pendant's looping curve indicates a lunar analemma or kill scores will remain an open question,' said Adam Nadachowski, co-author of the study.

'However, it is fascinating that similar decorations appeared independently across Europe.'
A 41,500 year old oval-shaped ivory pendant made from mammoth bone (pictured) represents the earliest known example of ornate jewellery made by humans in Eurasia, a new study claims


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A 41,500 year old oval-shaped ivory pendant made from mammoth bone (pictured) represents the earliest known example of ornate jewellery made by humans in Eurasia, a new study claims

What does the pattern on the pendant mean?

The features patterns of over 50 puncture marks in an irregular looping curve, and two complete holes, which could represent hunting tallies or lunar notations, according to the researchers.

'If the Stajnia pendant's looping curve indicates a lunar analemma or kill scores will remain an open question,' said Adam Nadachowski, co-author of the study.

'However, it is fascinating that similar decorations appeared independently across Europe.'


The pendant was discovered in Poland's Stajnia Cave in 2010, alongside animal bones and stone tools.

Now, researchers have used radiocarbon dating to assess its age, concluding that the pendant likely dates back around 41,500 years.
Sahra Talamo, w
ho led the study, said: 'Determining the exact age of this jewellery was fundamental for its cultural attribution, and we are thrilled of the result.

'This work demonstrates that using the most recent methodological advances in the radiocarbon method enables us to minimise the amount of sampling and achieve highly precise dates with a very small error range.

'If we want to seriously solve the debate on when mobiliary art emerged in Palaeolithic groups, we need to radiocarbon date these ornaments, especially those found during past fieldwork or in complex stratigraphic sequences.'

Using 3D modelling tools, the researchers were able to delve deeper into the pendant's structure and design.

'Through 3D modeling techniques, the finds were virtually reconstructed and the pendant appropriately restored, allowing detailed measurements and supporting the description of the decorations,' said co-author Stefano Benazzi.


The pendant was found at the Stajnia Cave, Poland (pictured) in 2010 along with a horse-bone tool known as an awl. Experts believe the presence of animal bones alongside the pendant may indicate humans were beginning to produce small and transportable art 41,500 years ago



The pendant was found at the Stajnia Cave, Poland (pictured) in 2010 along with a horse-bone tool known as an awl. Experts believe the presence of animal bones alongside the pendant may indicate humans were beginning to produce small and transportable art 41,500 years ago

Previous studies have revealed that both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens once occupied Stajnia Cave.

The researchers now suggest that the pdenant was left there when its creator left the cave on a hunting expedition.

'This piece of jewellery shows the great creativity and extraordinary manual skills of members of the group of Homo sapiens that occupied the site,' said co-author Wioletta Nowaczewska.

'The thickness of the plate is about 3.7 millimetres showing an astonishing precision on carving the punctures and the two holes for wearing it.'
Previous studies have revealed that both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens once occupied Stajnia Cave


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Previous studies have revealed that both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens once occupied Stajnia Cave

Overall, the reserachers hope the finings will help to shed light on the dispersal of Homo sapiens in Poland.

Andrea Picin, co-author of the study, added: 'The ages of the ivory pendant and the bone awl found at Stajnia Cave finally demonstrate that the dispersal of Homo sapiens in Poland took place as early as in Central and Western Europe.

'This remarkable result will change the perspective on how adaptable these early groups were and call into question the monocentric model of diffusion of the artistic innovation in the Aurignacian.'
 

Faroe

Un-spun
How do they know it was worn as a pendant, that is, simply as adornment? Could have been a tool of some sort. Small personal items are often decorated - think spoons, knives, awls, etc. Looks like it could have been helpful in securing or making some sort of cordage.

Seems to me the 40-thousand year figure is dating of the bone itself, not its carving?
 
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Melodi

Disaster Cat
As I was given to understand a good while back...Europe is where the White race lives and 'Asia' is where the Black race lives. So 'Eurasia' is just a way of combining 'all peoples'. Don't want to be a 'racist', ya know.
It has been called Eurasia for a couple of hundred years, in archeology, it is the correct term for the giant landmass that for historical reasons has been politically divided as Europe and Asia but in reality is one continent.

This is similar to Mexico being in Latin America but it is still as much a part of NORTH America as Canada is.
 

Caplock50

I am the Winter Warrior
It has been called Eurasia for a couple of hundred years, in archeology, it is the correct term for the giant landmass that for historical reasons has been politically divided as Europe and Asia but in reality is one continent.

This is similar to Mexico being in Latin America but it is still as much a part of NORTH America as Canada is.
I'll 'bow' to your knowledge on this. But I do recall that the Europeans refer to the black race as 'Asians'.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
I'll 'bow' to your knowledge on this. But I do recall that the Europeans refer to the black race as 'Asians'.
No, they refer to people from both Pakistan and India as Asian (and have for over 100 years, this isn't WOKE), they also refer to people from China and the Far East as Asian.

In the UK, especially among academics, what we call The Middle East is often called "Oriental" or "Oriental Studies." That is a holdover from the days when the British had Colonies there and it was "East" of the UK.

I found this very strange when I was a young teenager and starting to read about Ancient Egypt with many of the famous early British Archeologists referred to as "Oriental Experts."

Black people in Europe are usually either called Black in English or Africans depending on the time and place. I have never in 25 years of living this side of the water heard them referred to as Asian, unless they were talking about the very dark (cobalt black-skinned) people from South India. They are believed to be the remains of an earlier population of the Indian Sub Continent and when I was in school in the 1970s considered to be "Caucasian" despite their very dark skins.

Today I suspect genetic studies have given a more in-depth view as to their possible backgrounds, but they don't look African at all.
 

Caplock50

I am the Winter Warrior
No, they refer to people from both Pakistan and India as Asian (and have for over 100 years, this isn't WOKE), they also refer to people from China and the Far East as Asian.

In the UK, especially among academics, what we call The Middle East is often called "Oriental" or "Oriental Studies." That is a holdover from the days when the British had Colonies there and it was "East" of the UK.

I found this very strange when I was a young teenager and starting to read about Ancient Egypt with many of the famous early British Archeologists referred to as "Oriental Experts."

Black people in Europe are usually either called Black in English or Africans depending on the time and place. I have never in 25 years of living this side of the water heard them referred to as Asian, unless they were talking about the very dark (cobalt black-skinned) people from South India. They are believed to be the remains of an earlier population of the Indian Sub Continent and when I was in school in the 1970s considered to be "Caucasian" despite their very dark skins.

Today I suspect genetic studies have given a more in-depth view as to their possible backgrounds, but they don't look African at all.
Well, my info is 'quite aged'. My oldest Brother spent 2 tours of duty stationed in Germany when he was still a 'young man' and that's where I got it all from. As you can see, it's been so long ago, I can't even tell you what decade it happened in. I do know, though, that what we refer to as 'Asian' is not what they were referring to as 'Asian'.
 
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