Dig unearths Stone Age sculptures and mysterious cone

By | December 3, 2008

Palaeolithic figurine (Antiquity)

Rare artefacts from the late Stone Age have been uncovered in Russia.

The site at Zaraysk, 150km south-east of Moscow, has yielded figurines and carvings on mammoth tusks.

The finds also included a cone-shaped object whose function, the authors report in the journal Antiquity, “remains a puzzle”.

Such artistic artefacts have been found in the nearby regions of Kostenki and Avdeevo, but this is the first such discovery at Zaraysk.

The Upper Palaeolithic is the latter part of the Stone Age, during which humans made the transition from functional tool-making to art and adornment. …

“These finds are really incredibly rare, and they offer a unique picture into human Upper Palaeolithic life.”

Also among the finds was an object carved from mammoth ivory, shaped like a cone with its top removed. The cone is densely ornamented and has a hole running through its centre.

The authors note that the object is unique among Palaeolithic artefacts. “The function of this decorated object remains a puzzle,” they say. … – bbc

Cone-shaped artefact (Antiquity)

What do you think it is?

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