Posted: Dec 4, 2021 19:43 GMT
The results of the study could settle a scientific debate about when humans introduced mobile art to Europe.
A team of scientists analyzed a 41,500-year-old mammoth ivory pendant and concluded that it is possibly the oldest known decorated gem in Eurasia.
The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports last week, looked at a piece of jewelry made from a piece of mammoth tusk and decorated with tiny piercings. The piece was found in 2010 in the Stajnia cave, in Poland, in the layer corresponding to the Paleolithic period.
“Determining the exact age of this jewelry was critical to its cultural attribution, and we are delighted with the result. This work shows that using the most recent methodological advances in the radiocarbon method allows us to minimize the amount of sampling and achieve highly accurate dates. precise, with a very small range of error, “said the head of the study, Sahra Talamo.
The analysis of the personal ornament and its details were carried out by means of digital processes from micro-tomographic scans. “Through 3D modeling techniques, the findings were virtually reconstructed and appropriately restored, allowing detailed measurements and supporting the description of the decorations, “says co-author Stefano Benazzi.
As for the specifications of the pendant, it has a thickness of 3.7 millimeters, which demonstrates “an amazing precision when carving the punctures and the two holes to wear it,” according to Wioletta Nowaczewska, a member of the research group. In addition, it has a pattern of at least 50 perforations and it is not yet known whether they represent the count of hunted animals or a lunar analema.
This finding could help settle the scientific debate about when Homo sapiens introduced mobile art to Eurasia. This is because most of these types of discoveries were made in ancient excavations and their chronological attributions remain uncertain.
“If we want to seriously resolve the debate about when mobile art emerged in Paleolithic groups, we need to date by the [método] radiocarbon these ornaments, especially those found during past fieldwork or in complex stratigraphic sequences, “Talamo noted.
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