- RSS Channel Showcase 2090912
- RSS Channel Showcase 2746020
- RSS Channel Showcase 7650049
- RSS Channel Showcase 7929897
Articles on this Page
- 06/14/15--21:00: _Arkfeld Site "Sitti...
- 06/18/15--21:00: _"Advanced Denisovan...
- 06/21/15--21:00: _Limstone hare sculp...
- 06/26/15--07:17: _Acoustic resonance ...
- 07/01/15--19:09: _More stone birds an...
- 07/05/15--08:18: _Lower Paleolithic o...
- 07/06/15--07:04: _'The eyes have it' ...
- 07/07/15--06:55: _'Jefferson's giant ...
- 07/08/15--05:52: _Human head looking ...
- 07/12/15--21:00: _Announcing a new po...
- 07/16/15--05:45: _Running horse with ...
- 07/21/15--08:14: _Mammoth, human and ...
- 07/25/15--07:24: _North American Ice ...
- 07/30/15--07:05: _Two mammoth figures...
- 08/04/15--07:13: _France Lower Paleol...
- 08/05/15--06:10: _Twydall, Kent, 'cru...
- 08/05/15--07:50: _Another Arkfeld Sit...
- 08/09/15--21:00: _Finds from The Neth...
- 08/10/15--06:51: _A bison figure from...
- 08/16/15--21:00: _A combination of bi...
- 06/14/15--21:00: Arkfeld Site "Sitting Mammoth" sculpture from Clear Brook, Virginia
- 06/21/15--21:00: Limstone hare sculpture sniffs the breeze
- 07/05/15--08:18: Lower Paleolithic owl sculptures from North Western Europe
- 07/06/15--07:04: 'The eyes have it' at Clear Brook, Virginia and Fontmaure, France
- 08/05/15--07:50: Another Arkfeld Site mammoth form profile with face on its posterior
- 08/09/15--21:00: Finds from The Netherlands by archaeologist Jan van Es of Roermond
|"Sitting Mammoth" (6.5 cm)|
Denisovans because of a pinky finger bone and two teeth found in the same soil layer. Neither claim is proven and requires further research at other sites to corroborate the possibility.
The significance of the “Denisovan bracelet” is not the disbelief of the establishment that Denisovans were capable of such stone working technology but that the claim has been given fact-like status in the popular media and even in this Pleistocene Coalition News (PCN) article. At this time, we only know this could perhaps, possibly, be the oldest known jewelry of its type.
"The institute's deputy director Mikhail Shunkov suggested that the find indicates the Denisovans - though now extinct - were more advanced than Homo sapiens and Neanderthals." This suggestion is preposterous and not supported by anything but the archaeologist's desires.
The bracelet is not attributable to Denisovans with any degree of certainty. There is no such thing as a “Denisovan layer” at 40,000 B.P. when we know there was breeding between Denisovans and Homo sapiens sapiens. They were in fact co-existing and more, so the presence of a Denisovan bone does not exclude the presence of Homo sapiens sapiens if we accept the 40k soil date as equal to the bracelet date.
Further, there is evidence of Homo sapiens sapiens occupations over thousands of years in the Denisova Cave until as recently as the Middle Ages. And "... researchers have suggested that Neanderthals, H. sapiens, and a third group of genetically distinct hominins (the Denisovans) inhabited the Altai region at the same time some 40,000 years ago."
Siberian archaeologist Anatoly Derevyanko merely believes the layer was not contaminated by Homo sapiens sapiens. There is no way to prove this or to exclude the possibility the bracelet and ring were not deposited by later intrusions into that soil layer such as with a burial of someone wearing them both. Because stone bracelets like this have never before been associated with soils or cultures anywhere near 40,000 years old, archaeologists have a further burden to demonstrate other examples before claiming anything more than pure conjecture. No hard conclusions can be made based on this single find.
Archaeologists now need to find use of easel speed drilling, boring tool type rasp, grinding and polishing with a leather and skins of varying degrees of tanning as used on this bracelet in a “Denisovan layer” somewhere that pre-dates and excludes Homo sapiens sapiens. Then we can discuss Denisovan jewelry. This is not likely to occur in our lifetimes.
I personally think it is very possible it is a Denisovan bracelet but think the highly speculative claim of the archaeologists only lays the ground for further research. I also think speculation is a healthy part of initial scientific inquiry and my speculations about portable rock art are prefaced by the word "suspected" in this blog's header. Sometimes, art is a difficult thing to prove.
However, speculation in the cloak of fact by archaeology officialdom needs to be questioned. In its desire to demonstrate early human intelligence and capabilities they have failed to qualify or be critical of claims regarding this bracelet. We simply do not know that this was a Denisovan bracelet or that it is 40,000 years old and these should not be accepted or repeated as established facts.
For now, it's just an interesting possibility.
The archaeologists reporting the bracelet, the popular media and the PCN have contributed to a distortion of the human past by presenting the technologies used to make the bracelet as “advanced.” This is a highly judgmental and biased construct of these analysts and does not reflect any “undeniably high workmanship (PCN)” on any known material culture technology continuum.
Some early art collectors, scholars and students would be of the strong opinion that "more advanced" stone working technologies and concepts in art were present at several hundred thousand years ago and almost completely lost to us in our time. Luckily the internet has come along to allow world-wide uncensored exchange of photos and opinions by persons making these observations. From another and important perspective, the "Denisovan bracelet" may be seen as quite a juvenile, simplistic piece of work.
“It should be noted that many millennia would pass before modern man would again turn out jewelry of the same quality and workmanship (PCN)” Does the PCN really believe this can be known?
“So what is the bracelet that has stood the archaeological community on its ear? It’s (sic) physical appearance shows that it is something that most any modern woman would be proud to wear (PCN).” This only furthers the distortion of this artifact in the greater archaeological context and seems to value the artifact more because it is like something we are familiar with. Value judgments like this should be culled from anthropological presentations.
The archaeologists present a modern copper bracelet next to the purported “Denisovan bracelet” in their media release photos (photo above) which also distorts its technological and cultural context and can only be present as a rhetorical device to show us how much those Denisovans were just like us.
The hardness of the Denisovan braclet stone approximates that of wood on the Mohs scale. It seems possible the same technologies could have been in use on wood for a very long time and we just happened to have been given a glance at a wood technology applied to a highly rare stone material procured by the maker. What if the Denisovan bracelet is a freak? Maybe we need to see examples on harder stone, more like the known Neolithic examples, in a Denisovan context before such direct comparisons of lithic technologies may be properly made.
It is time for archaeologists to adopt a more honest and taphonomically logical approach to these kinds of discoveries and to strive for an emic perspective rather than falling into an etic, even judgmental one.
In conclusion, there is not enough archaeological data or knowledge which should allow the publishing researchers or the PCN to draw the conclusions they have. The PCN article title is "Advanced technological skills in early human groups is still resisted." Maybe this resistance is because it is not proven in this case.
taphonomic logic of criticism is applied to the "Adavnced Denisovan" bracelet. Click photo to expand and view.
Disclosure: I was perturbed by the archaeologists' publication, then the mainstream media reports. Then the PCN chimed in and I felt the topic should be addressed with a more critical eye. The PCN has published a couple of articles I submitted to them over the years and I link to two at the top of this page. I enjoy the PCN immensely and am very thankful for the extraordinary volunteer efforts of its publishers and editors. -KBJ
In this video Adam Arkfeld demonstrates the acoustic resonance stone horn musical wind instrument he identified and has experimented with at Clear Brook, Virginia. Arkfeld's discovery of the instrument and replication of its use provides an extraordinary opportunity for us to hear the musical sounds of the distant past.
Arkfeld thinks the dark and shiny patina of the horn is evidence of heavy handling by human hands over a long period of time in prehistory. It appears to have "lip wear" around the mouth piece.
The art and tools at the Arkfeld archaeology site suggest a Pleistocene age for the site and this may be the oldest known stone wind instrument in the world. Some dated examples of wind instruments made in bone exceed 30,000 years BP, but portable stone acoustics seems much less common. I have not been able to locate record of another example of a naturally advantageous portable stone which has been humanly modified to create an acoustic wind instrument.
The people at Arkfeld Site were masters of limestone lithic technology and were able to exploit it to make the entire range of stone tools they needed, along with many art objects and now we know: musical instruments. This artifact speaks to the durability of the ancient peoples at the site and their profound intimacy with the natural materials available to them.
"Most people who care much about art find that of the work that moves them most the greater part is what scholars call "Primitive" ...In primitive art you will find no accurate representation; you will find only significant form. Yet no other art moves us so profoundly." -Clive Bell, 1914; quoted after Cahn and Meskin 2007: 266.
194 High Street,
Opening times: Thursday-Saturday 10:00-17:00
In the context of the scores of sculptures from the Old Route 66 Zoo Site near Joplin, Missouri, some depicting Ice Age animals, this stone may be reasonably interpreted as a manufactured or recognized giant ground sloth representation.
Dr. Brian Redmond, curator of archaeology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, was lead author on research published in the Feb. 22, 2012 online issue of the journal World Archaeology. Redmond and researchers analyzed 10 animal bones found in 1998 in the collections of the Firelands Historical Society Museum in Norwalk, Ohio. The bones were from a Jefferson's Ground Sloth. This large plant-eating animal became extinct at the end of the Ice Age around 10,000 years ago. Here, Redmond discusses the research.
"Fig. 4.22) Lithic sculpture. It represents a human head without the neck. Strong stylistic deformation in ironic sense, deduced from the large nose.
Size: Height cm. 12.
Place of origin: Tortona, Alessandria, Italy.
Material culture: Mousterian, but perhaps previous.
It comes from an ancient alluvium of the Scrivia Torrent; it is damaged, as there are no more external traces of working. But the traces are present in the recess that constitute the orbitale zone and the mouth. The human type seems an archaic Homo sapiens, but it does not have chin, and the forehead is little. The style lengthens the head vertically.
Collection Museum of the Origins of Man."
Human head in Paleolithic sculpture, Pietro Gaietto, Museum of the Origins of Man
"But Boucher de Perthes... ...also secured his position as a paid-up member of the lunatic fringe. Alongside his perceptive observations of stratigraphy and artefacts in the gravel pits of Abbeville and Amiens he also illustrated many stone sculptures. His claims for heads of birds and humans in natural lumps of gravel undoubtedly delayed the full acceptance of his scientific observations." Professor Clive Gamble, University of Southampton
Countless world archaeology sites have been missed or destroyed by academicians and professionals because there was no consideration or accounting of iconic stone sculpture material like this that would have contained substantially more cultural information about the past than technological tool sets.
Because it is fundamentally dysfunctional as a science, Archaeology is not able to 'walk out on limbs' like most other sciences which welcome novel hypotheses. In the case of portable rock art, they prefer to cut the limb off at the trunk based on long-standing dogma rather than pursue what could be a major new branch of archaeological inquiry.
"I found these in the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont. I was hunting for serpentine to make some hand made cabochon and I started noticing that some looked like faces and animals. It blew my mind what I was finding and for a while I thought it was just my imagination but I have found some crazy stones. Do you have any idea what this is all about? I have found what looks like an elephant or mastodon and I gotta say I am really dumbfounded. Any insight would be appreciated, this is keeping me up nights." - Jeremy
It seems the earliest Americans may have been using simple flake and bend-break tools to serve their needs. Similar simple points have been identified at the deepest levels of the Topper Site, Allendale County, South Carolina, with a 50,000 years BP date proposed.
At its peak the rock is about 20 feet (6m) off the ground. The Shenandoah and Appalachian Mountain ranges present endless opportunities for early American peoples to seek shelter and to reflect their lives in the permanence of the stone outcrop material around them.
With a strong bias in favor of petroglyphs over sculpture, archaeology seems to have completely missed rock art in the American southeast which was made by exploiting natural stone features like is done in portable rock art. This sculptural landscape rock art is also covered by this blog in order to support the context of the portable materials.
Blog reader Katie Bretsch observed that by rotating the figure 45 degrees left a nice badger head left profile is depicted. I think this is an excellent observation. There may be a crude human face profile on far right edge of the sculpture.
At 400,00 years before present we had early humans with the cognitive symbolic capacities to understand something (a stone) could also be several other things at once- mammoth, badger and feline in a kind of optical illusion, just depending how one focuses visual attention on the piece.