paleolithics

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Moelfre Stone Row or Alignment, Penmaenmawr, North Wales, 25.9.16. This stone row is now largely displaced, although some of the row remain in position. The structure exists between the Neolithic site of Druid’s Circle and the smaller Circle 278. The alignment sits on a promontory with views of Great Orme, Anglesey and the Menai Straits.

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Bryn Cader Faner Bronze Age Burial Chamber, Rhinog National Nature Reserve, North Wales, 26.8.16. A round cist cairn with a collapsed central chamber, leading unusually to projected upright stones around the periphery of the structure. I spent two hours trekking to get to the location but it was definitely worth the effort. A remote but beautiful ruin in North Wales.

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One of the finest examples of early human art: Venus of Willendorf.

Created 25,000 years ago in the Upper Palaeolithic, Venus of Willendorf is considered one of the most beautiful female statuettes of prehistoric art history. The name, however, is misleading. Archaeologists dubbed such Paleolithic statuettes found ’Venuses,’ after the Greek/ Roman goddess of love and beauty, who was most often depicted nude. Found in Austria in 1908, this 11cm intact limestone figurine was originally coated with red ochre. 

Interpreting prehistoric art, especially of this age, remains problematic. One must always be careful not to enforce their own ideas or views onto the creators of the art, who lived in a very distant period of history we know little about. The extensive anatomical exaggeration of the depicted women has led many to suggest that these statuettes served as some form of fertility image. Like others, Venus of Willendorf is depicted with no facial features. Whatever the exact purpose was of these figurines, their sculptors do not seem to be depicting a specific woman, rather the female form.

Photos taken by myself, this artefact is courtesy of, and can be viewed at the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. AncientArt in Europe 2014/15.

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Standing Stones Sculpture near Tre’r Ceiri Iron Age Hilltop Fort at Nant Gwrtheyrn, exploring the Iron Age and Celtic heritage, 8.5.16. 

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You cowboy around with the avengers some. Guys got, what, armor. Magic. Super-powers. Super-strength. Shrink-dust. Grow-rays. Magic. Healing-factors. 

I’m an orphan raised by carnies fighting with a stick and a string from the Paleolithic era. 

Paleolithic. I looked it up.

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‘The Devil’s Arrows’ Neolithic Standing Stones, Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, 8.8.16. The three millstone grit standing stones are aligned with other prehistoric sites and are of a notable size. They are unusual in their naturally corrugated peaks and hence have been named ‘The Devil’s Arrows’.

What Shattered Skulls Say About Stone Age Women

A recent analysis discovered that up to 1 in 6 skulls exhumed in Scandinavia from the late Stone Age — between about 6,000 and 3,700 years ago — had nasty head injuries. And going against previous findings of mass gravesites, women were just as likely as men to be sporting serious skull injuries. The problem was context. The mass gravesites were evidence of larger, armed conflict. Because few women had been found in the mass graves, it was previously thought that women were kept from conflicts because of their value as childbearers. But that was misleading. “It would be like only looking at a war zone to assess violence,” one of the researchers said. “That’s not going to tell you what’s going on in your neighborhood.”

To see what more humdrum days looked like for these Stone Age farmers, the team assessed 478 skulls from collections throughout Sweden and Denmark from between 3900 B.C. and 1700 B.C. Almost 10% of Swedish skulls bore signs of violence. And nearly 17% of Danish skulls did. Men were indeed more likely to have nonfatal skull injuries, shown by the amount of healing around the injured area. But women were equally likely to have had fatal skull injuries, distinguished because of the lack of healing. Put together the new analysis suggests a life where violence was commonplace. Raids on their livestock, family feuds, and frequent skirmishes with competing groups would have been normal. And women, same as men, were victims of the violence – and perhaps perpetrators too.

Early humans used mammoth ivory tool to make rope

TüBINGEN, Germany, July 22 (UPI) – Despite its technological importance to early hunter-gatherers, archaeologists know relatively little about the production and use of rope and twine during the Paleolithic Era.

Artifacts recently unearthed in Germany suggest some early humans used specialized ivory tools to make rope.

Researchers from the University of Tübingen and the University of Liège recovered a neatly preserved piece of mammoth ivory with intricate carvings. Researchers determined the tool was made 40,000 years ago, around the time the first humans arrived in Europe. Analysis of the ivory suggests the carved notches weren’t simply for decoration but were for the explicit purpose of weaving plant fibers into rope. 

Scientists came to their conclusion after rigorous testing. Rope-making best explains the ivory’s technological features, researchers argue in a new paper on the discovery – Read more.