Monday, February 15, 2016

40,000 Year-Old Bracelet Found at Denisova Cave

A bracelet has been discovered at the site of Denisova Cave that excavators have dated to c. 40,000 years BP.  Archaeology Hub has the story:
In what is quite an amazing discovery, scientists have confirmed that a bracelet found in Siberia is 40,000 years old. This makes it the oldest piece of jewelry ever discovered, and archeologists have been taken aback by the level of its sophistication.

The bracelet was discovered in a site called the Denisova Cave in Siberia, close to Russia’s border with China and Mongolia. It was found next to the bones of extinct animals, such as the wooly mammoth, and other artifacts dating back 125,000 years.

The cave is named after the Denisovan people — a mysterious species of hominins from the
Homo genus, who are genetically different from both Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.
Here is the image of the bracelet from this site:

We know very little about the Denisovans, except that they coexisted with Neandertals and early modern humans and that their genetic fingerprint is present in modern-day Melanesian populations.  Here is a link to the National Geographic special that was done a few years back that covers the basics behind these mysterious hominins.  This find gives us a window into their culture. 


  1. A correction to Archaeology Hub's story - the name of the cave is "Denisova Peshchera" Денисова Пещера, "Denis's Cave". It is named after a hermit named Дионисий (Denis) who lived there in the 18th century. Thus the people are named after the cave, not the other way around.

  2. Some poor Deni likely saved up two months of overtime at the quarry to get this for his one true love. Maybe if more of the Deni's gave gifts like this to their ladies, they wouldn't have died out ;-)