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Wed Sep 26, 2012, 12:51 PM

Oldest Ivory Workshop in the World Discovered in Saxony-Anhalt

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926092620.htm

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Documentation of the finds by an international team of students. (Credit: Image courtesy of Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum)

ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2012) — Excavations at the mammoth hunting site of Breitenbach near Zeitz have uncovered a 35,000-year-old ivory workshop

In an international co-operation project, archaeologists from the Monrepos Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for the Evolution of Hominin Behaviour, part of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, (RGZM) and the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege and Archäologie in Saxony-Anhalt are excavating the 35,000 year old site of Breitenbach, close to Zeitz in Saxony-Anhalt. Other co-operation partners are the Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Leiden (NL), the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology (ArchPro) in Vienna, the Institute of Geoinformatics i3mainz of the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz as well as the Institutes of Geosciences at the universities of Mainz, Tübingen and Cologne.

During this year's campaign, site directors Dr. Olaf Jöris and Tim Matthies and their team found the oldest evidence for clearly distinct working areas which are interpreted as standardized workshops for working mammoth ivory. It was possible to identify a zone where pieces of ivory were split into lamella, as well as a second area where the pieces had been carved and their waste had been discarded. Some ivory beads and rough outs of unfinished products were also found amongst this debris, alongside several other ivory objects, including a decorated rod and fragments of a three-dimensionally modified object, very likely an object of art. The manufacturers were early modern humans similar to ourselves, who obtained mammoth ivory which had probably lain around at this site for some time, either from the carcasses of mammoths which had died here naturally or from the bodies of the victims of expert hunters. In the case of the latter scenario, the mammoths could have been hunted by modern humans or even by Neanderthals, since Neanderthals had only become extinct a few thousand years before the site was occupied by modern humans.

The clear spatial deposition of the finds in different working areas allows us to draw conclusions about the use of space at around 35,000 years ago, a concept apparently still unknown to Neanderthals.

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Reply Oldest Ivory Workshop in the World Discovered in Saxony-Anhalt (Original post)
xchrom Sep 2012 OP
bluedigger Sep 2012 #1
Surya Gayatri Sep 2012 #2
greiner3 Sep 2012 #3

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 10:02 PM

1. That is one heck of a lot of folding rules.

Must be a well funded project - I'm used to a couple of tape measures.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 07:05 AM

2. Fascinating stuff...thanks for posting. The love of beauty and the need to recreate it

has obviously been a universal human value since the dawn of mankind.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 11:06 AM

3. "Oldest Ivory Workshop in the World Discovered..."

Hell, that isn't the news;

They had glass windows, gypsum walls AND LIGHTING FIXTURES!!!!!!!!!!

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