(Note: photo above is not the pendant.)
An ivory pendant that dates back 41,500 years is said to be the oldest example of humans decorating jewelry in Eurasia. The pendant was found in Poland by archaeologists during excavations that took place in Stajnia Cave back in 2010 but has recently been analyzed in further detail by radiocarbon dating that confirmed it was created 41,500 years ago.
The pendant, which is about 3.7 millimeters in thickness, was created out of mammoth ivory and contains several puncture marks. This means that humans made it and based on the date, it is the oldest jewelry that was decorated by modern humans in Eurasia. It is believed that the pendant was probably worn around the neck.
The researchers went into further details regarding the ancient piece of jewelry, “The decoration of the pendant included patterns of over 50 puncture marks in an irregular looping curve, and two complete holes,” adding that each of the puncture marks may have represented a moon or sun cycle, or even a successful animal hunt.
They went on to say, “It is the oldest known [jewelry] of its kind in Eurasia and it establishes a new starting date for a tradition directly connected to the spread of modern Homo sapiens in Europe.” Their study was published in the journal Scientific Reports where it can be read in full.
An awl (a tool that is used to pierce an object) that was created out of horse bone was found near the pendant and dates back to the same time period.
A picture of the pendant can be viewed here.
While the pendant is the oldest example of modern humans decorating jewelry in Eurasia, it is not the oldest jewelry that has ever been found on the planet. A couple of months ago, it was reported that 33 beads made from sea snail shells were discovered in Morocco’s Bizmoune Cave that were the earliest ever examples of jewelry – they date back to at least 142,000 years ago and could be as old as 150,000 years. Each bead measured about half an inch long and had a hole in the center where a string was probably put in or perhaps they were hung from clothing. Additionally, they represented the earliest form of non-verbal human communication.
I guess ancient humans loved jewelry as much as we do today.