Earliest evidence of humans decorating jewelery in Eurasia



The Stajnia pendant has a pattern of at least 50 punctures, which creates an irregular looping curve. Antonino Vazzana is a scientist at the BoNES Lab.

An international team has discovered an ivory pendant decorated with a pattern of at least 50 punctures, creating an irregular looping curve. The age of the ornament is 41,500 years old. The oldest punctate ornament known to date in Eurasia is the jewelry from the Stajnia Cave. The timing of the appearance of decorative objects by Homo sapiens has been known for a while. The study was published.

The production of pendants and mobiliary objects, like carved statuettes, was started by groups of Homo sapiens after the dispersal of mammoth tusks in Central and Western Europe. The alignment of punctuations, a new type of decoration, appeared in figurines in Germany and south-western France. Most of these adornments were discovered from older excavations, and their chronological attributions are not certain. Questions about the emergence of human body augmentation and the spread of mobiliary art in Europe remained strongly debated.

A group of researchers from Germany, Italy, Poland, and Wrocaw University collaborated on a study. The earliest dispersals of Homo sapiens in Europe were recorded at the age of 41,500 years.

Methodological advances in dating.

The exact age of this jewelry was a fundamental part of its cultural attribution and we are thrilled with the result. The work shows that using the most recent methodological advances in the radiocarbon method allows us to minimize the amount of sampling and achieve highly precise dates with a very small error range. If we want to solve the debate on when mobiliary art emerged in Paleolithic groups, we need to radiocarbon date these ornaments, especially those found during past fieldwork.

The study of the pendant and the awl was carried out using digital methodologies. The finds were reconstructed using 3D modeling techniques and the pendant was restored to its original state.

There is a view of the Stajnia Cave. Credit is given to Marcin arski.

The personal ornament was discovered in 2010 during fieldwork by co-author Mikoaj Urbanowski. The cave's archaeological record shows separate short term occupations by Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. The pendant was left behind in the cave in the Krakw-Czstochowa Upland after it broke during a hunting expedition.

Similar decorations appeared across Europe.

The piece of jewelry shows the great creativity and extraordinary manual skills of members of the group that occupied the site. The thickness of the plate is about 3.7 millimeters, and it has an amazing precision on carving the punctures and the two holes for wearing it.

The question of a lunar anlemmaa or kill scores will remain open if the Stajnia pendant's looping curve indicates a lunar anlemmaa or kill scores. It is fascinating that decorations appeared independently across Europe.

The territory of Poland is often excluded from scenarios about the earliest expansion of Homo sapiens in Europe because it was deserted after the demise of Neanderthals. The age of the ivory pendant and bone awl found at Stajnia Cave shows that the dispersal of Homo sapiens in Poland took place as early as in Central and Western Europe. The result will change the perspective on how adaptable these early groups were and call into question the monocentric model of the Aurignacian's artistic innovation.

The analysis of the ivory in the caves of Poland will yield more insights into the production of ornaments in Central-Eastern Europe.

Scientific Reports has more information on the 41,500 year-old decorated ivory pendant called Sahra Talamo. www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-01221-6

Scientific reports are in the journal.

The most conclusive evidence of humans decorating jewelery in Eurasia was retrieved on November 25, 2021.

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