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Earliest known human engraving found on shell


Ozfactor

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http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/shell-fossil-in-java-shows-earliest-known-human-pattern-creation/story-fnjwl1aw-1227144411681

I am not sure that just because the shell fossil is 430000 years old , that it means the engraving is that old too . I don't the know the process that would date the engraving .

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very cool

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Isn't it ! .. I love shells, the history of shells and the different uses over the ages . I lived on the coast of Australia growing up and we had hugh Middens in the sand dunes , large areas covered in the ancient shells that the Australian Aborigines left behind over decades ( millenea ? ) of feasting on shellfish . I was very young and never really took the time to examine the Middens , but have heard stories of things found . Fascinating , I look forward to hearing more about this shell fossil and the secrets it holds .

This is a link if anyone interested in reading about the Australian Aboriginal Midden

http://www.aborigina....gov.au/middens

And this is a link to the coastal town I lived in , the population is now about 600 , when I lived there in the early 80's , the population would have been between 50 and 100 .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_Bay,_Victoria

Edited by Ozfactor
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Homo Sapien exceptionalism is highly overrated and has it's roots in nineteenth century colonial attitudes and prejudices.

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http://www.news.com....w-1227144411681

I am not sure that just because the shell fossil is 430000 years old , that it means the engraving is that old too . I don't the know the process that would date the engraving .

It's mentioned in this, and another article I've read, that it's possible to determine that the etching was done while the shell was still fresh. The details of how this determined are not given. The age range of the shell, and etching is 430,000 to 540,000 years, so it's likely even older than the former figure.
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It's mentioned in this, and another article I've read, that it's possible to determine that the etching was done while the shell was still fresh. The details of how this determined are not given. The age range of the shell, and etching is 430,000 to 540,000 years, so it's likely even older than the former figure.

Maybe there's a way to compare the oxidation of the non-engraved to the engraved portions of the shell.
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Homo Sapien exceptionalism is highly overrated and has it's roots in nineteenth century colonial attitudes and prejudices.

So are you implying that these marks were not made by a homo sapien? Regardless of your answer I disagree with you. I'm willing to bet that humans thought they were superior to animals the world over millennia before colonialism.
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And our timeline keeps going further and further back with each new discovery...

Calling it now: the Sphynx being older than 10,000 years will fit perfectly into the revised timeline.

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So are you implying that these marks were not made by a homo sapien? Regardless of your answer I disagree with you. I'm willing to bet that humans thought they were superior to animals the world over millennia before colonialism.

No it wasn't. In that time homo sapiens had yet to evolve. Homo Erectus is the likely artist, and hardly an animal. Apparently, you didn't read the article. Shame, shame. :-*
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So are you implying that these marks were not made by a homo sapien? Regardless of your answer I disagree with you. I'm willing to bet that humans thought they were superior to animals the world over millennia before colonialism.

As far as we know, the oldest homo sapiens is just a bit under 200,000 years old. That shell is probably well over twice that old. It's assumed that it was etched by an older hominid, homo erectus; the same genus as ourselves, but not the same species, a cousin to us, if you will. Edited by bison
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As for the toolmarks being as old as the shell, it is because as the shell fossilized, it got harder. So, one infers the mark was probably made before the shell hardened. However, it's difficult to determine that human hands did it. If the shell were dragged back and forth across a sharp natural rock by wave action, a similar mark could result. No one will ever know for sure how the shell got its marks, but experiments can be done, by deliberately scratching a modern clamshell with a sharp rock point, then comparing the modern test shell with the ancient specimen under a microscope. If the marks match, it increases the odds of human agency.

I don't see why not. We are kind of arrogant about our intellect, as some of the other comments say. :unsure2:

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Lets hope those scientists dont discover our squiggly bark trees;

Copy_of_Lichen_Snail_marks.jpg?m=1348908328

3723228180_9164c2637c_n.jpg

Ancient Chinese calligraphy;

log-captcha-3347.jpg

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So are you implying that these marks were not made by a homo sapien?

H. erectus wasn't H. sapiens. So no, these marks were not made by H. sapiens.

And our timeline keeps going further and further back with each new discovery...

Calling it now: the Sphynx being older than 10,000 years will fit perfectly into the revised timeline.

This doesn't push our timeline back at all. It possibly pushes back symbolic expression.

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the "zig zag" patterns could be art... or just marks from someone cutting something in it?

Last line from article: It’s unclear whether the pattern was intended as art or served some other purpose.

Nice and Old though.

Edited by lightly
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From the article:

Not only does the find significantly outdate the previous oldest known writing, which dates back 130,000 years, it is also the first evidence that Homo erectus was a lot more like modern humans than had been previously realized.

All I can say to that is, I've been telling you this for years right here at U-M.

Harte

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The thing that has always intrigued me when I read articles about X species going extinct, especially a hominid is the circumstances. Was there some cataclysmic event that wiped them out or was it a slow process that came down to one individual who may or may not have known he was the last of his kind. Admittedly Im not expert in this field, there may be information regarding this very thing Ive just never searched for it.

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Yet anothe example of how wrong carbon dating can go

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the "zig zag" patterns could be art... or just marks from someone cutting something in it? Last line from article: It’s unclear whether the pattern was intended as art or served some other purpose.

How did they know if they had dark skin?

A good guess is they don't know. How could they? Dark skin is a guess in the event Homo erectus was naked, as defense against sunburn. If they had fur, then any color skin. The marks are on the outside of the clam shell, so they weren't made while cutting the clam loose from the inside. For that matter, it can't be proved the scratches were deliberately made by a human. However, humans did drill holes through some shells found at the site, to dine on clam. So, they may also have incised the V-shaped pattern. It even seems likely this is so: In the photos, note how precise the corners and angles in the pattern are.

Arcaeology About.com: http://archaeology.a...tm#step-heading

Edited by Hatshepsut
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Yet anothe example of how wrong carbon dating can go

Carbon dating is not reliable and not used on material over fifty thousand years old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiocarbon_dating
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It's mentioned in this, and another article I've read, that it's possible to determine that the etching was done while the shell was still fresh. The details of how this determined are not given. The age range of the shell, and etching is 430,000 to 540,000 years, so it's likely even older than the former figure.

Maybe an older shell would leave ragged and torn microscopic zig zag trails ,the fresh shell is softer, the trails might be smoother .
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Homo Sapien exceptionalism is highly overrated and has it's roots in nineteenth century colonial attitudes and prejudices.

Oh I must disagree , Homo Sapien exceptionalism is exceptional and nineteenth century colonial attitudes and prejudices are not .

And our timeline keeps going further and further back with each new discovery...

Calling it now: the Sphynx being older than 10,000 years will fit perfectly into the revised timeline.

good call !
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From the article:

All I can say to that is, I've been telling you this for years right here at U-M.

Harte

It's a hard sell but true. It's hard to overcome the caveman image of our ancestors, deeply rooted and ingrained in anthropology in the nineteenth century, during the European colonial era. It was firmly believed that the apex of evolution was European Homo Sapiens, and that nothing else, not even other living races of the same species compared. Racism has fallen out of fashion, but evolutionary bias persists.
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