martes, 1 de noviembre de 2016

Paleolithic jewellery: still eye-catching after 50,000 years

The Siberian Times reports that beads made of ostrich eggshells were discovered in Denisova Cave, which is located in the Altai Mountains. The beads measure less than one-half inch in diameter and are thought to be between 45,000 and 50,000 years old. “This is an amazing piece of work,” said researcher Maksim Kozlikin of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography. “The ostrich eggshell is quite robust material, but the holes in the beads must have been made with a fine stone drill.” He thinks the beads could have been part of a bracelet or a necklace, or may have been sewn into clothing. The presence of the beads in Denisova Cave suggests that the people who lived there had trade contacts to import either the eggshells or the finished beads. The jewelry items were found in the same archaeological layer where a bracelet made of dark green stone was found in 2008...

Related: Siberian Town Stakes a Claim as Humanity’s Cradle - The New York TimesUn poblado siberiano se atribuye ser la cuna de la humanidad

Actualización: Encuentran joyas paleolíticas hechas con huevo de avestruz en las cuevas de Denísova
The Siberian Times informa de un sorprendente descubrimiento hecho en las cuevas de Denísova. Se trata de un conjunto de cuentas para adorno elaboradas con cáscara de huevo de avestruz. Pero, ¿cómo consiguieron esos huevos en Siberia?... 

Bones at famed Stone Age site are turning into jelly

Ten thousand years ago, Stone Age hunter-gatherers built houses, tracked game, and conducted elaborate shamanic rituals among the wetlands of North Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. When archaeologists uncovered this Mesolithic dwelling known as Star Carr in 1948, they found well-preserved headdresses made of deer antler, as well as animal bones and wooden and bone tools. Revisiting the site 50 years later, researchers discovered its waterlogged wood rapidly and mysteriously breaking down and many of its bones literally turned to jelly. These “jellybones,” as the authors refer to them in a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have only arisen recently because Star Carr’s mucky, low-oxygen wetland prevented the site’s archaeological treasures from breaking down [...]  Science | AAAS / Link 2 

The First Artists: In Search of the World's Oldest Art

Book: The First Artists: In Search of the World's Oldest Art
Paul Bahn, Michel Lorblanchet, Pierre Soulages
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1 edition (February 28, 2017)

Where is the world’s very first art located? When, and why, did people begin experimenting with different materials, forms, and colors? Prehistorians have long been asking these questions, but only recently have they been able to piece together the first chapter in the story of art.

Overturning the traditional Eurocentric vision of our artistic origins, Paul Bahn and Michel Lorblanchet seek out the earliest art across the whole world. There are clues that even three million years ago distant human ancestors were drawn to natural curiosities that appeared representational, such as the face-like “Makapansgat cobble” from South Africa, not carved but naturally weathered to resemble a human face. In the last hundred thousand years people all over the world began to create art: the oldest known paint palettes in South Africa’s Blombos Cave, the famous Venus figures across Europe all the way to Siberia, and magnificent murals on cave walls in every continent except Antarctica.

This book is the first to assess the discovery, history, and significance of these varied forms of art: the artistic impulse developed in the human mind wherever it traveled.