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Palaeontology

World's oldest needle unearthed in Siberia

By T.K. Randall
August 23, 2016 · Comment icon 16 comments

Denisova Cave was inhabited by our ancestors for millennia. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Cheburgenator
A 50,000-year-old sewing needle made from bone has been discovered during a dig at a cave in Siberia.
Unearthed within Denisova Cave - a well known palaeontological treasure trove in the Altai Mountains - the seven-centimeter needle was created and used, not by humans, but by the Denisovans - an extinct species of human whose DNA is still carried by many of us today.

"It is the most unique find of this season, which can even be called sensational," said Professor Mikhail Shunkov. "As of today it is the most ancient needle in the word."
The bone from which the needle was crafted is believed to have come from a large bird however researchers have so far struggled to determine exactly what species of bird this might have been.

Denisova Cave itself is one of the richest sources of palaeontological finds in the world having been inhabited by our ancestors for at least 282,000 years. Other Denisova finds there, including an immaculately polished bracelet, suggest that the Denisovans were highly skilled craftsmen.

Source: Siberian Times | Comments (16)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Chaldon 8 years ago
Someone has asked in the comments about the thread type supposedly used with the needle - it was probably made of animal tendons, as was in the case with many indigenous peoples of Siberia up to the mid 20th century. They probably also may have known how to make fabric of nettle fiber.
Comment icon #8 Posted by MJNYC 8 years ago
Nothing is as cool as that NEEDLE! Nothing at all. #jonsnowlivesforever
Comment icon #9 Posted by twobytwice 8 years ago
"the Denisovans - an extinct species of human whose DNA is still carried by many of us today." Anyone else see what's wrong with this statement.
Comment icon #10 Posted by MWoo7 8 years ago
I second that needle! HERE! HERE! THat was awesome, SHOW WAS EXCELLENT !  till they messed it up now showing two shows this season, I exaggerate to drive it home sometimes.(my points)
Comment icon #11 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
I believe the statement just means that the "pure" species is gone.  If your DNA is 51% Denisovian be my guest and be one.  Maybe ancestry.com can tell you.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Nnicolette 8 years ago
That would be interesting if they could sequence the needle dna and find out what kind of bird it was made from. Whatever big birds people were eating 50,000 years ago probably arent around anymore.
Comment icon #13 Posted by MJNYC 8 years ago
What do you mean, "now showing two shows this season"?
Comment icon #14 Posted by MWoo7 8 years ago
[SEASON 7 --- Game of Thrones THERE  *   W I L L   *   N O T  *   B E  *    T  E  N   *     E  P  I  S  O  D  E  S  ] whew ! The next season, next year whatever/whenever it comes, I obviously could have been a bit more exact and even offered a paper or two like the Gods in here(your lucky they didn't DELETE your pick, right when its ON POINT to the topic, amazingly FOR SOME its deleted and they say not relevant, which sadly was the driving point of the topic, and moving on, sorry for the break of flow) and several links to quality sources, and I mentioned two and I ment E... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Codenwarra 8 years ago
Excellent find.  
Comment icon #16 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
Was this needle found in a haystack?  The world's oldest haystack?


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