Archaeologists led by prof. Pawel Valde-Nowak of the Institute of Archeology, Jagiellonian University, after many years of research in the cave Obłazowa (District Nowy Targ) reached rock bottom, and thus gave a complete stratigraphy position. The oldest and deepest layers are associated with the presence of the Neanderthal cave. During the last season of research, researchers also found further evidence for the celebration of human rituals inside the cave.
"At the bottom of wkopu formed in the upper Paleolithic, or about 30 thousand. Years ago, we discovered machined, for both cut and ground fossil snail shell Conus' - informs Professor. Valde-Nowak.
This is the third shell found inside the cave. Earlier, according to an archaeologist, are part of the ritual team from cultural layer pavlowskiej. "I do not exclude that the shell can be found musical instrument used by the shaman in the cave during the celebration of rituals" - said Prof. Valde-Nowak.
Original story in Polish hereExcavations inside the Cave Obłazowa started in 1985. Then the researchers did not realize yet the case, as an important function to fulfill pieninský cave Palaeolithic hunters and a dozen before tens of thousands of years. "Until 1985, so until such time as the first discoveries in the cave in Obłazowa, północnokarpackie position Palaeolithic Palaeolithic were associated with decline. However, we found traces of much older settlements, he dated the upper and middle Paleolithic" - explains Professor. Valde-Nowak.
Creates a cave chamber with a length of 9 m, which leads to a small hallway. The first traces of the use of the cave relate to Neanderthals. Found flint tools, which are performed.
Research went slowly, because, archeologists kilkucentymetrowymi immersed in layers, plus all the excavated spoil sifted on sieves. The stringent procedures have allowed researchers to record the residues of various animals, including small rodents. It is sensitive indicators, essential for any reconstruction of the surrounding environment of the cave.
The Cave Obłazowa spectacular discoveries were made - were found in the world's oldest known boomerang made of mammoth blow. Has more than 30 thousand. years and made him a man, as evidenced by him just discovered bone fragments of the fingers. It is the oldest so far discovered in the Polish lands anatomically modern human bones.
"With this comes a layer of horny perforator, two corner wedges of the characteristics associated with mining tools, siliceous rocks and three pendants przewierconych tusks from Arctic fox. In addition, two shells were found snail Conus extracted from fossil sediments. Supplemented group of items from organic material is an oval bead bone "- Professor adds. Valde-Nowak.
All of these items bear the traces of red coloring pigment - ocher. Part of stone tools made from raw materials originating from a distance, up to 300 hp - chocolate in the vicinity of flint and flint Ilza świeciechowskiego from around Annopol. The team with the sights of this layer are almost no mass-production-related waste flint, or quartering hunted animals, which are present in both earlier and later layers.
"The material gives the impression of thoroughly successful. Most of the sights can be considered as items of significant value to the contemporary man. In addition, the presence of human bones may suggest a partial or symbolic burial" - explains the professor. Valde-Nowak.
Particularly interesting interpretive possibilities concern uncovered fragments of a human hand, found in the company of ornaments, monuments of art and very rare items discovered Palaeolithic. According to the researcher, draws at least a few hypotheses.
"At the forefront of the recognition of clusters as a manifestation of shamanism, which was important symbolism of the human hand, so well documented representations of cave today France and Spain. Many of the hand by górnopaleolitycznego hunter recorded forever in the darkness of caves tamtejszych is not complete - missing parts of fingers. Among proposed interpretation of the plan first put forward to the ritual finger amputation segments, such as during initiation rites, and mourning "- explains the archaeologist.
The cave was inhabited Obłazowa repeatedly, not only in the older Stone Age. Archaeologists have found objects from the period of the late Middle Ages - among others. Iron Belt tip crossbow and fragments of pottery.
Over the last three years, excavations in the cave Obłazowa were financed with a grant of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, who in two months is completed. Continue to work this year is thus dependent on finding other means.
PAP - Science in Poland, Simon Zdziebłowski
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