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New findings on Near East Palaeolithic cultures

The analysed bones display a series of marks that were made with a lithic tool through a careful and complex process to preserve the bone integrity. Foto: Tejero et al. 2018 <i>PNAS</i>.

The analysed bones display a series of marks that were made with a lithic tool through a careful and complex process to preserve the bone integrity. Foto: Tejero et al. 2018 PNAS.

José-Miguel Tejero.

José-Miguel Tejero.

10/05/2018

Recerca

During the Upper Palaeolithic, human beings from different areas in Eurasia developed different cultures that differed between them according to the way they worked on materials such as stones or bones. Now, a research study published in the journal PNAS has identified the HaYonim Cave, in the Lower Galilee (Israel), one of the symbols that specifically identified that culture known as the Levantine Aurignacian. These findings are gazelle bone remains with marks that were carefully made, with a high symbolic value. These objects, which are older than 35,000, were “probably worn as necklaces and identified those who carried them as members of this culture, the Levantine Aurignacian”, says the first signer of the article, José-Miguel Tejero, researcher at the Prehistoric Studies and Research Seminar (SERP) of the UB and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Researchers have analysed a series of scapula and a hyoid bone of the Gazella gazella species. These bones display a series of marks that were made with a lithic tool through a careful and complex process to preserve the bone integrity. Therefore, researchers rule out these marks to be made in order to process meat but to mark signals “with no practical aim, they belong to the symbolic circle of hunter-gatherer societies”, says Tejero. The researcher notes that the study of these bone remains was conducted with a scanning electron microscope (SEM).


One of the hypothesis among the researchers on this period, states that populations and ideas belonging to the European Aurignacian got to the Near East and the Levantine Aurignacian was born there, in a geographical area covering the current areas of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestine areas and Jordan. The Levantine Aurignacian features are the tools made of stone, bones and horns, which are similar to those created by the European Aurignacian precursors, which display their own features as well.
The research study is led by Tejero, researcher at the ArScan Équipe Ethnologie Préhistorique of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and SERP-UP, which is led by Professor Josep Maria Fullola. The other researchers of the study are Anna Belfer-Cohen and Rivka Rabinovich (Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Ofer Bar-Yosef (Harvard University) and Vitaly Gutkin (Hebrew University Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Jerusalem).


Article Reference:


J.Tejero; A. Belfer-Cohen; O. Bar-Yousef; V. Gutkin; R. Rabinovich. “Symbolic emblems of the Levantine Aurignacians as a reginoal entity identifier (Hayonim Cave, Lower Galilee, Israel)” PNAS. April, 2018. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1717145115

 

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