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Shattered pebbles shed light on 13000-year-old burial rituals | ArchaeoFeed
Study of marine pebble tools from an Upper Palaeolithic burial site Caverna delle Arene Candide in Liguaria, Italy, suggests that objects might have been ritually destroyed to remove their symbolic power some 5000 years earlier than previously thought. Excavations at the site (by Université de Montréal) The site is a cave, located nearly 90 metres above the sea in a steep cliff, containing burials of about 20 adults and children. Researchers examined 29 pebble fragments and concluded that about 12000 years ago the flat, oblong pebbles were brought up from the beach, used as spatulas to apply ochre paste to decorate the dead, then broken and discarded. Archaeologists believe that this final action was possibly meant to destroy the objects, which had come into contact with the deceased, in order to discharge them of their symbolic power. Refitted fragments of the pebbles (by Université de Montréal) The researchers carried out microscopic analysis of the pebbles they found in the cave,