We are constantly learning more about ourselves and the people who came before us through discoveries from the past. While exploring a cave, scientists came across a 40,000-year-old bracelet, which is believed to be the oldest ever found.
Confusingly, the unique bracelet appears to have been made using tools that were impossible for the time it was created. Also, scientists believe that the piece of jewelry was made by something other than our ancestors.
The discovery of the bracelet provoked an array of questions, but after further examination, many of those questions have finally been given answers.
A green stone bracelet was found near ancient human remains in a Siberian cave in the Altai Mountain range back in 2008.
It’s believed that the bracelet may have belonged to a prehistoric princess due to the evident craftsmanship on display. Russian experts claim the bracelet is “the oldest ever found” dating back to 40,000 years.
“The bracelet is stunning — in bright sunlight, it reflects the sun rays, at night by the fire it casts a deep shade of green,” Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Anatoly Derevyanko, told Siberian Times.
It’s been determined that the bracelet was made by the Denisovans, an extinct species of human. However, the skill and expertise at play here suggests that the Denisovans were more skilled than initially imagined.
The bracelet, made out of chlorite, features a precise hole that scientists figure could only have been achieved using a high-rotation drill, which would be impossible.
The rare piece of ancient jewelry has been illustratively reconstructed to show what it may have looked like. It is currently on display at the Museum of History and Culture of the Peoples’ of Siberia and the Far East.
“The skills of its creator were perfect,” Irina Salnikova, head of the museum, told Daily Mail. “Initially we thought that it was made by Neanderthals or modern humans, but it turned out that the master was Denisovan.
Salnikova mentioned that all jewelry had magical meaning for ancient people and many would use them as a form of protection from things like evil spirits.
The stone the bracelet is made out of is found more than 150 miles from where it was discovered, which means the fact that it was imported only further proves how significant of a piece this would have been.
“It is unlikely it was used as an everyday jewelry piece,” Dr. Derevyanko stated. “I believe this beautiful and very fragile bracelet was worn only for some exceptional moments.”
The piece was found alongside the remains of a Denisovan girl who was believed to be seven or eight years old. Scientists determined that it was worn on the right hand.
However, the one question that still baffles even experts is how the jewelry was made to have a seemingly drilled hole with a diameter of about 0.8 cm.
“Studying it, scientists found out that the speed of rotation of the drill was rather high with minimal fluctuation, and there was applied easel drilling,” Dr. Derevyanko said. “Technology that is more common in more recent times.”
This skill on display challenges everything scientists know about the characteristics of the Paleolithic era and shows the Denisovans as being more progressive than Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.
The Denisovans were neither Neanderthals nor modern humans and are believed to date back as early as 600,000 years ago.
“Given the complicated technology and ‘imported’ material, obviously [this bracelet] belonged to some high ranking person of that society,” Irina Salnikova stated.