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Re: Old Shells Suggest Early Human Adornment

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  • Michael Balter
    And here is my story accompanying the paper in Science: http://www.michaelbalter.com/news.php#hominid (first item) best wishes, Michael Balter
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 24, 2006
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      And here is my story accompanying the paper in Science:

      http://www.michaelbalter.com/news.php#hominid (first item)

      best wishes, Michael Balter


      http://www.michaelbalter.com


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jack Kilmon
      ... From: Michael Balter To: Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2006 7:58 AM Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Old Shells Suggest Early
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 24, 2006
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Michael Balter" <mbalter@...>
        To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2006 7:58 AM
        Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Old Shells Suggest Early Human Adornment


        > And here is my story accompanying the paper in Science:
        >
        > http://www.michaelbalter.com/news.php#hominid (first item)
        >
        > best wishes, Michael Balter


        Thanks for the article, Mike. Although these may be the earliest symbolic
        adornments yet discovered, I think it almost a certainty that the very
        earliest hominids wore "prettys" in some fashion. I am reminded of the
        Makapansgat cobble that some Australopithecine thought was unique enough to
        carry it some distance back to the cave. It could not have been too long
        after early Homo (probably erectus) began processing hides for clothing
        that wearing "prettys" would have developed...perhaps for mating rituals. I
        predict that even earlier beads will be found since awls, necessary tools
        for making beads or boring shells go back pre-Acheulian.

        Jack Kilmon
      • hfeltham@bigpond.net.au
        As the Maori Assistan Director of Te Papa in Wellington said some years ago, The first art gallery wall was the human chest Heleanor Feltham
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 24, 2006
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          As the Maori Assistan Director of Te Papa in Wellington said some years ago, 'The first art gallery wall was the human chest'

          Heleanor Feltham

          -- Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...> wrote:
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "Michael Balter" <mbalter@...>
          > To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2006 7:58 AM
          > Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Old Shells Suggest Early Human Adornment
          >
          >
          > > And here is my story accompanying the paper in Science:
          > >
          > > http://www.michaelbalter.com/news.php#hominid (first item)
          > >
          > > best wishes, Michael Balter
          >
          >
          > Thanks for the article, Mike. Although these may be the earliest symbolic
          > adornments yet discovered, I think it almost a certainty that the very
          > earliest hominids wore "prettys" in some fashion. I am reminded of the
          > Makapansgat cobble that some Australopithecine thought was unique enough to
          > carry it some distance back to the cave. It could not have been too long
          > after early Homo (probably erectus) began processing hides for clothing
          > that wearing "prettys" would have developed...perhaps for mating rituals. I
          > predict that even earlier beads will be found since awls, necessary tools
          > for making beads or boring shells go back pre-Acheulian.
          >
          > Jack Kilmon
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • funhistory
          ... Michael, your article says: Recent dating of the Skhul burials has shown that they are 100,000 to 135,000 years old. Could you please provide a
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 25, 2006
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            > http://www.michaelbalter.com/news.php#hominid (first item)
            > best wishes, Michael Balter

            Michael, your article says: "Recent dating of the Skhul burials has
            shown that they are 100,000 to 135,000 years old."

            Could you please provide a reference that explains the dating method
            used to obtain this 35k-year range? Or you could give us a brief
            overview of the methodology here--whichever is more convenient for
            you. Thanks!
            George Michael Grena, II
            Redondo Beach, CA

            P.S. As my browser had a difficult time following the original link on
            your news page, here's a direct link:

            http://www.michaelbalter.com/HominidHighlights/06_24_2006|Old_beads_sugg
            est_early_use_of_symbols.php

            [Moderator note: Yahoo stops parsing an URL at the "|" sign, hence such URLs will not work in Yahoo Groups. To use these URLs, copy them into your browser's URL window. -MC]
          • Bea Hopkinson
            jkilmon@historian.net ... And don t forget painting the body to accompany one ritual or another :) Beatrice Hopkinson
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 25, 2006
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              jkilmon@...

              >
              >----- Original Message -----
              >From: "Michael Balter" <mbalter@...>
              >To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
              >Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2006 7:58 AM
              >Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Old Shells Suggest Early Human Adornment
              >
              >
              >> And here is my story accompanying the paper in Science:
              >>
              >> http://www.michaelbalter.com/news.php#hominid (first item)
              >>
              >> best wishes, Michael Balter
              >
              >
              >Thanks for the article, Mike. Although these may be the earliest symbolic
              >adornments yet discovered, I think it almost a certainty that the very
              >earliest hominids wore "prettys" in some fashion. I am reminded of the
              >Makapansgat cobble that some Australopithecine thought was unique enough to
              >carry it some distance back to the cave. It could not have been too long
              >after early Homo (probably erectus) began processing hides for clothing
              >that wearing "prettys" would have developed...perhaps for mating rituals. I
              >predict that even earlier beads will be found since awls, necessary tools
              >for making beads or boring shells go back pre-Acheulian.
              >
              >Jack Kilmon
              >
              And don't forget painting the body to accompany one ritual or
              another :)

              Beatrice Hopkinson
              >
              >
            • richard godwin
              Excerpted from NY Times, the first of the article. Carbon 14 dating, I suspect, since shells are a form of life. Richard Godwin Archaeologists say they have
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 25, 2006
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                Excerpted from NY Times, the first of the article. Carbon 14 dating, I
                suspect, since shells are a form of life.

                Richard Godwin



                "Archaeologists say they have found evidence that in one respect people were
                behaving like thoroughly modern humans as early as 100,000 years ago: they
                were apparently decorating themselves with a kind of status-defining
                jewelry - the earliest known shell necklaces.

                If this interpretation is correct, it means that human self-adornment,
                considered a manifestation of symbolic thinking, was practiced at least
                25,000 years earlier than previously thought.

                An international team of archaeologists, writing today in the journal
                Science, reported its analysis of small shells with distinctive perforations
                that appeared to have been strung together as ornamental beads. Chemical
                study showed that the two shells from the Skhul rock shelter in Israel were
                more than 100,000 years old, and the single shell from Oued Djebbana, in
                Algeria, was about 90,000 years old."



                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "funhistory" <yahoo-ane-2@...>
                To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 9:04 AM
                Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Old Shells Suggest Early Human Adornment


                >> http://www.michaelbalter.com/news.php#hominid (first item)
                >> best wishes, Michael Balter
                >
                > Michael, your article says: "Recent dating of the Skhul burials has
                > shown that they are 100,000 to 135,000 years old."
                >
                > Could you please provide a reference that explains the dating method
                > used to obtain this 35k-year range? Or you could give us a brief
                > overview of the methodology here--whichever is more convenient for
                > you. Thanks!
              • victor
                Excuse my ignorance, but although shell is produced by living organisms is it in itself organic? Victor Hurowitz BGU Beer-Sheva, Israel ... From:
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 25, 2006
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                  Excuse my ignorance, but although shell is produced by living organisms is
                  it in itself organic?
                  Victor Hurowitz
                  BGU Beer-Sheva, Israel

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                  richard godwin
                  Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 3:55 AM
                  To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: Old Shells Suggest Early Human Adornment

                  Excerpted from NY Times, the first of the article. Carbon 14 dating, I
                  suspect, since shells are a form of life.

                  Richard Godwin



                  "Archaeologists say they have found evidence that in one respect people were

                  behaving like thoroughly modern humans as early as 100,000 years ago: they
                  were apparently decorating themselves with a kind of status-defining
                  jewelry - the earliest known shell necklaces.

                  If this interpretation is correct, it means that human self-adornment,
                  considered a manifestation of symbolic thinking, was practiced at least
                  25,000 years earlier than previously thought.

                  An international team of archaeologists, writing today in the journal
                  Science, reported its analysis of small shells with distinctive perforations

                  that appeared to have been strung together as ornamental beads. Chemical
                  study showed that the two shells from the Skhul rock shelter in Israel were
                  more than 100,000 years old, and the single shell from Oued Djebbana, in
                  Algeria, was about 90,000 years old."



                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "funhistory" <yahoo-ane-2@...>
                  To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 9:04 AM
                  Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Old Shells Suggest Early Human Adornment


                  >> http://www.michaelbalter.com/news.php#hominid (first item)
                  >> best wishes, Michael Balter
                  >
                  > Michael, your article says: "Recent dating of the Skhul burials has
                  > shown that they are 100,000 to 135,000 years old."
                  >
                  > Could you please provide a reference that explains the dating method
                  > used to obtain this 35k-year range? Or you could give us a brief
                  > overview of the methodology here--whichever is more convenient for
                  > you. Thanks!







                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                • Robert Whiting
                  ... No, C-14 dating is useless at this time depth. The practical upper limit of C-14 dating is about 50,000 years. I have suggested
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 26, 2006
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                    On Sun, 25 Jun 2006, richard godwin wrote:

                    > Excerpted from NY Times, the first of the article. Carbon 14 dating, I
                    > suspect, since shells are a form of life.
                    >
                    > Richard Godwin

                    <snip of article excerpt>

                    No, C-14 dating is useless at this time depth. The practical upper limit
                    of C-14 dating is about 50,000 years. I have suggested before that for
                    information on the basis of dating reported in Science Magazine, one
                    should go to the Science Magazine article itself rather than news reports
                    based on the article. The original article is at
                    <http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/312/5781/1785>. Access
                    requires a subscription, but many universities have a subscription that is
                    available to local users when accessing the site from their university
                    computers (or if they can log on with a university domain IP address
                    from their home computers).

                    Based on the article, the shells themselves are not dated but the dating
                    comes from the associated burial stratum. The shells have been associated
                    with the burial stratum through chemical analysis of the sediment adhering
                    to one of the shells.

                    With respect to dating, the article says:

                    Dates obtained for layer B from the use of electron spin resonance
                    (ESR), U-series analysis, and TL on mammalian fossils or burnt flint
                    range from about 43 to 134 ka (15-17), but recent ESR and U-series
                    analyses, including direct dating with both techniques of a molar from
                    the Skhul II skeleton, indicate ages between 100 and 135 ka (18).

                    TL = Thermo-luminescence. Note 18 refers to R. GrĂ¼n et al., J. Hum. Evol.
                    49, 316 (2005).


                    Bob Whiting
                    whiting@...
                  • Michael Balter
                    Bob is right, the dating was published in Journal of Human Evolution last year, Rainer Grun et al., and was based on uranium-series and electron spin resonance
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 26, 2006
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                      Bob is right, the dating was published in Journal of Human Evolution last year, Rainer Grun et al., and was based on uranium-series and electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of bones and teeth from the Skhul burials.

                      best, Michael Balter

                      http://www.michaelbalter.com




                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • richard godwin
                      I stand corrected. Thank you. Richard. ... From: Michael Balter To: Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 11:32 AM
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 26, 2006
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                        I stand corrected. Thank you.

                        Richard.

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Michael Balter" <mbalter@...>
                        To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 11:32 AM
                        Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Old Shells Suggest Early Human Adornment


                        > Bob is right, the dating was published in Journal of Human Evolution last
                        > year, Rainer Grun et al., and was based on uranium-series and electron
                        > spin resonance (ESR) dating of bones and teeth from the Skhul burials.
                        >
                        > best, Michael Balter
                        >
                        > http://www.michaelbalter.com
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
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