era: history

Viking Gold Mounted Crystal Pendant, 9th-11th Century AD

A pendant comprising a piriform natural crystal pebble bead in a sheet gold sheath with punched pellets to the borders, ring-and-dot motifs, punched triangles with a pellet to each angle; wire loop to the underside, wire coil to the top and loop, twisted wire suspension hoop with coiled ends. 56mm (2 ¼")

Prehistoric rock art in Australia’s Kimberly is famed for its age – it was painted between 70,000 and 46,000 years ago! But the paint itself is much, much younger. Wait, what? How can the paint be younger than the painting? Well, a new study found the vibrant artworks were colonized by colorful microbes, which serve as “living pigments” in the paintings. The colors we see today are direct descendants of the first founders, who grew where the original paints provided nutrients.