World’s oldest needle found in Siberian cave that stitches together human history

The 7 cm (2 ¾”) needle was made and used by our long extinct Denisovan ancestors, a recently-discovered hominin species or subspecies.

Scientists found the sewing implement – complete with a hole for thread – during the annual summer archeological dig at an Altai Mountains cave widely believed to hold the secrets of man’s origins. It appears to be still useable after 50,000 years. It was made of the bone of a large and so far unidentified bird.

Professor Mikhail Shunkov, head of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Novosibirsk, said: ‘It is the most unique find of this season, which can even be called sensational.’ Picture: IAET SB RAS

Professor Mikhail Shunkov, head of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Novosibirsk, said: ‘It is the most unique find of this season, which can even be called sensational.It appears to be still useable after 50,000 years.

 As of today it is the most ancient needle in the word. It is about 50,000 years old.’ The needle is seen as providing proof that the long-gone Denisovans – named after the cave – were more sophisticated than previously believed.

It predates by some 10,000 years an intricate modern-looking piece of polished jewellery made of chlorite by the Denisovans.

The bracelet was carefully polished and grinded, with a heavy pendant added in the centre, probably hanging from a short leather strap. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya, Anastasia Abdulmanova

The bracelet was discovered in 2008, and scientists have since suggested it showed the Denisovans to be more technologically advanced than Home sapiens or Neanderthals. Scientists found that a hole had been drilled in part of the bracelet with such precision that it could only have been done with a high-rotation drill similar to those used today.

 

The cave lies in the Altai Mountains around 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of the city of Barnaul. Prof Shunkov said: ‘We can confidently say that Altai was one of the cultural centres…where the modern human was formed.’

Scientist Svante Paabo, from the Max Planck Institute, in Leipzig, Germany, has said: ‘The one place where we are sure all three human forms have lived at one time or another is here in Denisova Cave.’

The Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography is part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Source: World’s oldest needle found in Siberian cave that stitches together human history

About Stan Flouride

THIS BLOG IS ALWAYS AD-FREE I make stuff and do things.
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2 Responses to World’s oldest needle found in Siberian cave that stitches together human history

  1. cwoverfi says:

    The Denisovan culture is exceedingly intriguing, especially since my husband’s family DNA shows a portion matching to that root of human origin. Nice post!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Discovered : The Oldest… | Stannous Flouride's Book of Truthiness

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