A Jeweler Made This Bracelet—40,000 Years Ago


A surprisingly modern-looking stone bracelet discovered in a cave in Siberia appears to have been constructed with the help of a drill-like tool, leading researchers to believe that early humans and their ancestors were much more deft at craftsmanship than previously thought.

The Siberian Times reports that the bracelet, which is made of chlorite, was discovered in 2008 in the Denisova cave in the Altai mountains in Siberia. Based on dating methods, researchers at the Museum of History and Culture of the Peoples’ of Siberia and the Far East, located in the city of Novosibirsk, believe the bracelet was made by the Denisovans, an extinct species of human who once coexisted with Neanderthals and date from 600,000 years ago. One revelation: The bracelet shows far more sophistication than the Denisovans were previously thought to have had.

“The skills of its creator were perfect,” said Irina Salnikova, head of the museum.

Anatoly Derevyanko, director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that the 0.8 cm hole in the piece suggests technological advancement. 

“These finds were made using technological methods—boring stone, easel drilling, grinding—that are traditionally considered typical for a later time, and nowhere in the world were they used so early in the Paleolithic era,” he said. “At first, we connected the finds with a progressive form of modern human, and now it turned out that this was fundamentally wrong. Obviously, it was Denisovans who left these things.”

Courtesy Anatoly Derevyanko

The stone bracelet

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