Atlantis Online
October 17, 2019, 08:21:58 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Giant crater may lie under Antarctic ice
http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn9268
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Cave Clue Reveals Ancient Bohemian Life

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Cave Clue Reveals Ancient Bohemian Life  (Read 37 times)
Robin Barquenast
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4605



« on: August 26, 2007, 10:36:12 pm »

Cave Clue Reveals Ancient Bohemian Life
Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News


       

Aug. 23, 2007 — A prehistoric Spanish hunting group that may have even had its own gang symbols appears to have drawn, hunted, crashed in a cave, eaten, recycled waste and moved on, suggests a new study.

Like a good detective story, the research hinged on one major clue — a buried pile of mysterious black bones found in a dark, dank room at the interior of El Mirón Cave near the northern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

This cave was like a residential hotel for traveling groups of Stone Age hunters, according to lead author Ana Belén Marín Arroyo, who worked with Lawrence Straus and other scientists.

Cave Clue Reveals Ancient Bohemian Life
Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

 Submit to:         

Aug. 23, 2007 — A prehistoric Spanish hunting group that may have even had its own gang symbols appears to have drawn, hunted, crashed in a cave, eaten, recycled waste and moved on, suggests a new study.

Like a good detective story, the research hinged on one major clue — a buried pile of mysterious black bones found in a dark, dank room at the interior of El Mirón Cave near the northern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

This cave was like a residential hotel for traveling groups of Stone Age hunters, according to lead author Ana Belén Marín Arroyo, who worked with Lawrence Straus and other scientists.


 
 
 


"El Mirón Cave is located in a strategic point next to the access routes to the high zone of the River Asón and has a wide visibility," Arroyo told Discovery News. "It's a mountain settlement next to the coastal plain that would allow a seasonal residential mobility from the coast towards the interior at summer time, coinciding with the migrations of red deer herds to the high altitude grass."

Arroyo, a researcher in the Department of Geography, Prehistory and Archaeology at the Universidad del Pais Vasco in Spain, said engraved red deer shoulder blades, along with images of red deer hinds found at the site were probably "stylistic markers of a regional band."
 The cave is also well known for rock art and decorative objects, such as shell and tooth ornaments.

The black bones, which date to around 13,000 years ago, intrigued Arroyo and her team, especially as different colored bones were excavated within other parts of the cave.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/08/23/artistcave_arc.html?category=archaeology


« Last Edit: August 26, 2007, 10:37:32 pm by Robin » Report Spam   Logged

Robin Barquenast
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4605



« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2007, 10:37:01 pm »

Funded by several groups, including the National Geographic Society, the researchers put the dark bones through a barrage of tests, such as X-ray analysis, photoelectron spectroscopy to detect energy levels present, several types of chemical analysis, and more.

The findings have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

The scientists first determined that the bones belonged to butchered red deer, ibex, roe deer, chamois (a European goat antelope) and small carnivores. The tests revealed the bones had not been painted or burned.




Instead, the team determined black staining was due to the presence of manganese oxides and hydroxides. In an amazing bit of detective work, the scientists discovered that abandoned organic matter — basically leftover meat and other food waste — decomposed in the room with the bones. Compounds generated by the process then increased metal solubility and mobility, "favoring the migration of manganese to buried bones."

Based on the timing of this natural decomposition, along with clues provided by deer dental remains, the researchers believe the hunters killed mostly red deer in the spring and summer, during which time they stayed in the cave. They likely occupied the cave's large, well-lit outer vestibule, and used the interior room with the bones as a makeshift place for garbage.

Geoffrey Clark, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Arizona State University, told Discovery News that he shares the team's conclusion about the black bones.

He said, "The damp, dark conditions in the inner cave, combined with the rotting garbage, resulted in heavy manganese staining in what was probably a dump."

Clark added that the study provides "a very consistent explanation for a complex phenomenon that sheds light on the human use of the cave."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Links:
University of New Mexico: Discoveries of the El Mirón Cave

The Leakey Foundation

Rock Art Links

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/08/23/artistcave_arc_02.html?category=archaeology&guid=20070823093000
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy