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Beads made from bones can reveal secrets of prehistoric people

Beads made from bones can reveal secrets of prehistoric people

Archaeologists have found ancient ornaments dating back 12,940 years in Wyoming, United States. The material is cylinder-shaped and is the oldest of its kind found in the Western Hemisphere. According to researchers, it belongs to the prehistoric Clovis culture, which appeared about 13 thousand years ago, at the end of the last ice age.

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After analysis, the researchers concluded that the material was made from the metabolite bone or proximal phalanx of the rabbit. It could have been used as beads for decorative purposes.

“Although the use of rabbit bone to make beads was a common practice in western North America during the Holocene, its origins can now be traced back to at least the terminal Pleistocene,” study officials said.

The artifact is only 7 mm long and 2.9 mm in diameter. Its edges are smooth and polished, with noticeable grooves on the sides.

Besides this bone bead, the rest of the archaeological site is also interesting. It is an old campground with many activity areas centered around fireplaces. It is believed that ancient inhabitants lived there for a long period of time.

Old pill ends (Photo: Todd Surovell)

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  • The archaeologists' discovery is considered important in providing more evidence about Clovis culture, such as hunting, hierarchy, personal decoration and even migration patterns, by comparing similar beads from different places and times.
  • However, researchers are confident that beads and other personal adornments served as a nod to aspects of identity among ancient populations.
  • The results were detailed in a study published in the journal Scientific reports.
  • The information is from Science Alert.
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