50,000-year-old jewellery made from ostrich eggshells discovered in Denisova Cave
A collection of jewellery made from the eggs of ostriches has been unearthed by archaeologists in the Denisova Cave in the Altai region of Siberia in Russia.
|Palaeolithic beads made from ostrich eggshells found in Siberia [Credit: Siberian Times/Maksim Kozlikin]|
The beads are a little less than 1cm across, all fairly regular in size and with a central hole just a millimetre or so wide, the Siberian Times reports.
|The beads date to the Palaeolithic era and are made from ostrich's eggshells [Credit: Siberian Times/Maksim Kozlikin]|
The findings suggest that early humans in the Palaeolithic period had craftsmanship skills more closely associated with the Neolithic period, which began about 12,000 years ago.
|Inside the Denisova Cave, Siberia [Credit: Siberian Times]|
However, finely worked beads such as these have also been found to be almost as old in South Africa's Border Cave in the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal. Those beads dated to about 44,000 years old and had some striking visual similarities to those found in the Denisova Cave.
|Researchers excavate the Denisova Cave in Siberia [Credit: Siberian Times]|
"Whichever way we look at it, it shows that the people populating the Denisova Cave at the time were advanced in technologies and had very well-established contacts with the outside world," says Kozlikin.
|Entrance to the Denisova Cave [Credit: Siberian Times/Vera Salnitskaya]|
The cave was occupied by Homo sapiens along with now extinct early humans – Neanderthals and Denisovans – for at least 288,000 years. Excavations at the cave have been underway for 30 years and are still continuing.
Author: Martha Henriques | Source: International Business Times [November 02, 2016]