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The 41,500-year-old ivory necklace may be the oldest human-decorated gem in Eurasia

Decorations can be tied to the cycles of the sun or the moon.

Two different views of the pendant, crafted from mammoth ivory. The scale bar is 1 centimeter. (Image credit: Antonino Vazzana/BONES Lab)

Archaeologists in Poland have discovered the remains of a 41,500-year-old necklace made of mammoth ivory and decorated with puncture marks, the oldest piece of jewelry decorated by modern humans in Eurasia.

The pendant, which is currently in two pieces, Stajnia cave was found during archaeological excavations conducted in Poland in 2010, and recent radiocarbon years ago about him 41.500 tarihlendiriyo is an article published online Thursday in the day, according to a team of scientists ( November 25) in Scientific Reports have been published.

“The decoration of the necklace included patterns consisting of more than 50 puncture marks and two full holes in an irregular loop,” the team said in a statement. They noted that each hole could represent a successful animal hunt or lunar or solar cycles.

“It constitutes a new starting date for the oldest known jewelry of its kind in Eurasia and a tradition directly linked to the spread of modern Homo sapiens in Europe, ” the researchers wrote in the study.

The necklace was probably worn around someone’s neck, but we can’t be sure, said study lead researcher Sahra Talamo, a chemistry professor at the University of Bologna in Italy who specializes in human evolution and radiocarbon dating.

The researchers noted that the necklace was created at a time when anatomically modern people were developing jewelry and other forms of body decoration for the first time around the world. Why people started using jewelry at this time is a mystery that researchers are trying to figure out, Talamo said.

Thalamo,  “This is a very nice question, but we can’t say much at the moment,”We do not know what kind of modification Homo sapiens encountered that allowed him to sculpt such a wonderful object.”

An aerial view of Stajnia Cave in Poland. (Image credit: Marcin Żarski)

In addition to the necklace, an awl, a tool used to pierce objects, was found next to the remains of the necklace in October 2010. The crochet is made of horse bone and dates to the same time as the necklace.

Stajnia Cave has been a hot spot of archaeological discoveries. A series of excavations from 2006 until 2010, there Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) the remains of the stone age or the Paleolithic age, as well as from a wide late Pleistocene (2.58 million to 11,700 years ago), steppe-tundra animal remains and artifacts revealed.

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