Archaeological Artifacts

beautiful archaeological things...

The Clay Bison of Tuc D'Audobert

How beautiful are these 15000 BCE....modeled from clay in cave. Amazing. can still see the finger marks of artists

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  • The Towie Ball. 

    5000 years old! Scotland. Stunning.

    Read about it here - https://www.nms.ac.uk/explore-our-collections/stories/scottish-hist...

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    Towie ball
    This beautiful carved stone ball was found in Aberdeenshire. People have long wondered about what it was and how it was used, but it had clearly been…
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    The Venus of Brassempouy is one of the earliest known realistic representations of a human face. It belongs to the Gravettian culture of Upper Palaeolithic Europe and was probably carved between c. 26,000 and c. 24,000 years ago. It was made from mammoth ivory and it currently resides in the National Archaeological Museum (Musée d'Archéologie Nationale) in France.

  • This small carving of a water bird was created 33,000 years ago. Sculpted in mammoth ivory, it was found in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany in 2002 and it's the earliest known representation of a bird 

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  • City inhabited from 100 AD to peak in 16th century, in Mexico, had as many buildins in its 10 km square extent as Manhattan has now. In ruins, discovered in 2007, mapped by LiDar. 40,000 buildings. The immensity of what is unknown and has already disappeared on earth is mind blowing.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/lost-mexico-city-...

    Lost’ ancient Mexican city had as many buildings as Manhattan, laser map shows
    'If you do the maths, all of a sudden you are talking about 40,000 building foundations up there'
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    This is pretty amazing. Bee/deer headed Shaman rock art from Algeria. More than 5 -7000 years old. 

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    One at the most important scenes is to be found in the Tin-Tazarift rock art site, at Tassili, in which we find a series of masked figures in line and hieratically dressed or dressed as dancers surrounded by long and lively festoons of geometrical designs of different kinds (fig. 2). Each dancer holds a mushroom-like object in the right hand and, even more surprising, two parallel lines come out of this object to reach the central part of the head of the dancer, the area of the roots of the two horns. This double line could signify an indirect association or non-material fluid passing from the object held in the right hand and the mind. This interpretation would coincide with the mushroom interpretation if we bear in mind the universal mental value induced by hallucinogenic mushrooms and vegetals, which is often of a mystical and spiritual nature (Dobkin de Rios, 1984:194). It would seem that these lines – in themselves an ideogram which represents something non-material in ancient art – represent the effect that the mushroom has on the human mind. [...] In a shelter in Tin – Abouteka, in Tassili, there is a motif appearing at least twice which associates mushrooms and fish; a unique association of symbols among ethno-mycological cultures (fig. 5). Two mushrooms are depicted opposite each other, in a perpendicular position with regard to the fish motif and near the tail. Not far from here, above, we find other fish which are similar to the aforementioned but without the side-mushrooms.

    — Giorgio Samorini, 1989
    Giorgio Samorini
    Giorgio Samorini (born 1957 in Bologna, Italy) is a psychedelics researcher. He has published many essays and monographs regarding the use of psycho…
  • Drought Has Revealed Spain’s Long-Submerged ‘Stonehenge’

    Up close with the 7,000-year-old Dolmen of Guadalperal.

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    The Dolmen de Guadalperal was excavated and studied in the 1920s, drowned in the 1960s, and dry again in 2019

     

    link

    Drought Has Revealed Spain's Long-Submerged 'Stonehenge'
    Up close with the 7,000-year-old Dolmen of Guadalperal.
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    Stone recently discovered at Ness of Brodgar with what looks like early writing on it.

    Ness of Brodgar is a 6 acre archaeological excavation on the Orkney islands. Earliest structures bulit 3300 BC.

    <a rel=nofollow href=www.archaeology.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Overview-of-site-l..." alt="Image result for ness of brodgar" />

     

    Simulation of what the village looked like...

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    Cloistered within those walls were dozens of buildings, among them one of the largest roofed structures built in prehistoric northern Europe. It was more than 80 feet long and 60 feet wide, with walls 13 feet thick. The complex featured paved walkways, carved stonework, colored facades, even slate roofs—a rare extravagance in an age when buildings were typically roofed with sod, hides, or thatch.

    From https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2014/08/neolithic-orkney/  Fabulous pictures at that site 

     

    One of the more startling discoveries has been discernible traces of colored pigments on some of the stonework. “I’ve always suspected that color played an important role in people’s lives,” says Card. “I had a sense that they painted their walls, but now we know for sure.”

    Indeed one of the structures apparently served as a kind of paint shop, complete with piles of pigment still on the floor: powdered hematite (red), ocher (yellow), and galena (white), together with the dimpled rocks and grinding stones that served as mortar and pestle.

    Also found among the ruins were prized trade goods such as volcanic glass from as far afield as the Isle of Arran in western Scotland, and high-quality flints from across the archipelago and beyond. These artifacts suggest that Orkney was on an established trade route and that the temple complex on the Ness may have been a site of pilgrimage.

    More intriguing than the items traders and pilgrims brought to the site, say archaeologists, is what they took away: ideas and inspiration. Distinctive colored pottery sherds found at the Ness and elsewhere, for example, suggest that the trademark style of grooved pottery that became almost universal throughout Neolithic Britain had its origin in Orkney. It may well be that rich and sophisticated Orcadians were setting the fashion agendas of the day.

    “This is totally at odds with the old received wisdom that anything cultural must have come from the genteel south to improve the barbarian north,” laughs Roy Towers, a Scottish archaeological ceramicist and the site’s pottery specialist. “It seems to have been just the reverse here.”

     

  • Awesome Venus figurine carved 25,000 -29,000 years ago...

    Black Venus of Dolni Vestonice

     

    One of the oldest known examples of ceramic in the world, the Black Venus was found at the pre-historic site of Dolni Vestonice in Moravia, Czech Republic in 1925 CE. The figure is thought to have been sculpted between 29,000 and 25,000 years ago. Its faceless, voluptuous figure is typical of the Venus figurines of Ice Age Europe, but the material used to make it is rare. It gets its unique black colour from the combination of ground bone and clay used to make it. This material produced a self-glazing, black finish in the kiln and can be seen on many of the other ceramic pieces found at the same site. The original figurine is rarely on public display, but it is part of the collection of the Moravian Museum's Anthropos Pavilion in Brno, Czech Republic.

    https://www.ancient.eu/image/6867/black-venus-of-dolni-vestonice/

    Venus
    In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. She was the Roman counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite. However, Roman V…
  • Turkic standing stone near Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain in Mongolia. 6 to 8th century AD

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  • Building with big stones. – Or: There is no globe-spanning &a...

    Recently a colleague from the University of Gothenburg, Bettina Schulz Paulsson, published a most interesting study [external link] about the origin and evolution of megalithic constructions in Europe (Schulz Paulsson 2019). Since we received quite a number of questions and comments about the absence of any reference to the Göbekli Tepe monuments in the discussion, we thought this could be a good opportunity to address a wider misunderstanding regarding megalithic phenomenona throughout the world: It is important to note that there is no one globe-spanning ‘Megalithic Culture’, but rather megalithic cultures (plural) – building with great (Greek: mégas) stone (Greek: líthos).

    In her analysis, Schulz Paulsson looked into the origin of a very specific type of European Neolithic monuments known from the Atlantic coast up to Scandinavia: So-called dolmens, which are basically built of large stone slabs, piled on top of each other, much resembling giant tables. These monuments are erected above ground and most often covered by a mound of stones or soil. Archaeological research could demonstrate that these can be considered megalithic tombs (e.g. i.a. Montelius 1907; Joussaume 1985; Sherrat 1990; Cummings and Richards 2014). The current study could demonstrate, based on more than 2,400 radiocarbon dates from such megalithic constructions and their surroundings and Bayesian modelling (cf. e.g. Bronk Ramsey 2009), that the first megalithic tombs of this type seem to date about 4,800 BC in the Channel Islands, Corsica, Sardinia – and north-western France. But only in the latter region there are also known similar earthen grave monuments actually preceding the first megaliths. Since the other regions are lacking any similar related earlier structures, the possible origin of this specific building tradition apparently thus could be tracked back to the Paris basin (if this really means megalithic building tradition in Europe is necessarily the result of cultural diffusion may be worth a discussion of its own; in an earlier comment, University College London’s David Wengrow noted the interesting possibility of similar underlying principles and related skills in maritime techniques (dragging and lifting canoes) and megalith transport [external link]).

    But what about Göbekli Tepe now? First of all, the monumental structures excavated in south-eastern Turkey are significantly older (dating to the 10th millennium BC) – and also significantly different from the European megalithic tombs discussed in Schulz Paulsson’s study. Although a relation to mortuary ritual may be discussed for activities having taken place at Göbekli Tepe as well (cf. Notroff et al. 2016; Gresky et al. 2017), according current state of research these buildings were not primarily constructed as graves (to this day no related burials were found), but as place of complex social gatherings, exchange and communication. Unlike the European dolmens, Göbekli Tepe’s monuments consist of monolithic T-shaped pillars arranged in considerably larger circles, grouping around another pair of similar pillars. Dry-stone walls and stone benches are connecting these pillars, forming the characteristic huge circular structures.

    So, to cut a long discussion short: While there is a clear typological, regional, and chronological relation between several of the European megalithic constructions, no link whatsoever leads to (or from) the Pre-Pottery Neolithic monuments in Anatolia. These are very different structures of a very different construction type and a very different function. From different periods and geographical regions, thousands of kilometres and years apart. There are no intermediate forms bridging this huge gap, no other finds suggesting any such relation.

     

    References:

    Chr. Bronk Ramsey, Bayesian Analysis of Radiocarbon Dates, Radiocarbon 51(1), 2009, 337-360. [external link]

    V. Cummings and C. Richards, The essence of the dolmen: the Architecture of megalithic construction / Préhistoires Méditerranéennes [En ligne], Colloque |2014, mis en ligne le 25 novembre 2014, consulté le 05 mars 2019 [external link].

    J. Gresky, J. Haelm, L. Clare, Modified human crania from Göbekli Tepe provide evidence for a new form of Neolithic skull cult, Science Advances 3(6), 2017, e1700564. [external link]

    R. Joussaume, Des dolmens pour les morts, Paris 1985.

    O. Montelius, Dolmens en France et en Suède, Le Mans 1907.

    J. Notroff, O. Dietrich, K. Schmidt, Gathering of the Dead? The Early Neolithic sanctuaries of Göbekli Tepe, Southeastern Turkey, in: C. Renfrew, M. J. Boyd and Iain Morley (eds.), Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World. “Death Shall Have no Dominion”, Cambridge 2016, 65-81.

    A. Sherratt, The genesis of megaliths: Monumentality, ethnicity and social complexity in Neolithic north-west Europe, World Archaeology 22, 1990,147-167. [external link]

    B. Schulz Paulsson, Radiocarbon dates and Bayesian modeling support maritime diffusion model for megaliths in Europe, PNAS 116(9), 2019, 3460-3465. [external link]

    5 Comments

    1. In short, using stone for monumental purposes requires no pre-history : stone is an expression of solidity and permanence still, and indeed was the only one available to people who were restricted to natural materials. Declaring that its presence in archaeological sites is proof of cultural links over huge gaps in time and space lacks scientific objectivity. When imagination takes precedence over known facts we leave science enter the realm of science fiction.

    2. I didn’t read the paper. Did it mention the Anatolian migration/invasion into Europe following the 8.2 kiloyear event? This is known from DNA evidence – hard scientific facts. The timing is rather suggestive. In any case, given that we now know of a widespread interest in astronomy, including precession of the equinoxes using the same constellations as today, since 40,000 years ago (see my paper on Palaeolithic art) across Europe (at least), it’s clear the links go much further back in time than these authors are prepared to consider. Also consider Witzel’s ‘The origins of the world’s mythologies’. He makes the same suggestion, that the mythologies of the world (outside Africa and Oceania) are all connected and go back at least 40,000 years. I agree, that while the connections to later European dolmens are hard to prove, it is not fanciful to propose a connection. See my book ‘Prehistory Decoded’ for a serious scientific case, and why 40,000 years, or so, is the timescale in question.

      • Suggestive is not evidence though, I’m afraid. And I think we agree to disagree on far-reaching connections posed by an interest in astronomy. While I wouldn’t even deny such interest (after all that kind of curiosity is essentially what makes us human), I still don’t think there’s enough evidence to construct a communication-network or diffusion of the scale implied by such longue durée connections. But you know that I’m more on the sceptical side regarding this.

    3. Dear Jens,

      while I certainly agree with you on the disconnectedness of Göbekli Tepe and European megalithic culture(s), one thing that’s been most puzzling to me is that I keep stumbling upon reference to neolithic structures of “complex social gatherings, exchange and communication” being deliberately burried or dismantled. One example I’ve been able to dig up quickly just now is the structures at the Ness of Brodgar. See for example the report https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2014/08/neolithic-orkney/ or more detailed at http://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk
      There apparently is evidence of a huge final (?) feast involving some hundreds of cattle too, if I remember correctly.

      The time span between the use of these structures and of Göbekli Tepe is immense, yet, while highly speculative, it seems very odd that these people seem to have felt the need or compulsion or indeptedness to tradition to bury their structures.

      Cheers,
      Claas

      • Actually, dismantling, destroying, and / or burying structures not in use any longer is not an exception in the course of human history, but happened more often than not (be it to prevent any misuse or profanation of formerly important places or the simple fact to leave no trace). You example of the Ness of Brodgar is really fascinating and actually seems to prove this kind of interpretation.

    Building with big stones. - Or: There is no globe-spanning 'Megalithic Culture'.
    Recently a colleague from the University of Gothenburg, Bettina Schulz Paulsson, published a most interesting study [external link] about the origin…
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