An exhibition will be held to showcase the rare archaeological discoveries made in a Berkshire quarry and the stories behind them.
Among the finds at Kingsmead Quarry, Horton, were four Neolithic houses thought to make up one of the oldest settlements ever found in England.
Other finds at the site suggest people have used the area since the end of the last Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago.
The free exhibition will be at Wraysbury Village Hall on 27 April.
Archaeologists, who have been excavating on the site for 10 years, said the discovery of the 5,700-year-old Neolithic house foundations was “unprecedented”.
Dr Alistair Barclay, of Wessex Archaeology, said it was the first time more than one house from this time had been found on a single site in England. Read more.
Scientists have unearthed six fishhooks, the oldest of which was made from a 19,000-year-old mammoth tusk.
Hunters of ice age reindeer around 12,300 years ago likely left the fishhooks, along with mammal and fish bones, in an open field in what is now Wustermark, Germany. The fishhooks, which are the oldest found in Europe, suggests humans developed fishing tools earlier than previously thought, probably to catch fast-moving fish that appeared in lakes as the climate warmed.
“These people had strong ideas to use the new resources of this changing environment,” said Robert Sommer, a paleoecologist at the University of Kiel in Germany. The eel, perch and pike that entered lakes are too fast to snag with a harpoon or a spear, Sommer added. Read more.
LONDON—About 35,000 years ago, prehistoric artists across Europe suddenly discovered the female form—and the art world has never been the same. The explosion of voluptuous female figurines sculpted out of limestone, ivory, and clay directly inspired Picasso and Matisse. Researchers have debated the figurines’ meaning for decades. Now, two scientists think they have the answer. Presenting their work here last week at the European Palaeolithic Conference, they claimed that the objects started off as celebrations of the female form, then later became symbols that tied together a growing human society.
The talk, part of a special exhibition on Ice Age art at London’s British Museum, surveyed the more than 20,000 year-history of female figurines, which are found at dozens of archaeological sites from Russia to France. Read more.
When archaeologists began digging the fields in 2010 they knew it was a site of historical interest, but even they were surprised by the wealth of ancient finds their trowels unveiled.
Back in 1995, a hoard of 400 Roman coins was discovered west of Didcot in Oxfordshire, indicating the land had been lived on for centuries.
As plans progressed for 3,300 new homes, schools and shops on the 180-hectare site, archaeologists were called in to investigate.
It has taken them nearly three years to excavate 30 hectares, but they now know people have been living in Didcot for about 9,000 years - since the end of the last ice age. Read more.
The star exhibit initially promised for the British Museum’s “Ice Age Art” show will not be coming—but for a good reason. New pieces of Ulm’s Lion Man sculpture have been discovered and it has been found to be much older than originally thought, at around 40,000 years. This makes it the world’s earliest figurative sculpture. At the London exhibition, which opens on 7 February, a replica from the Ulm Museum will instead go on display.
The story of the discovery of the Lion Man goes back to August 1939, when fragments of mammoth ivory were excavated at the back of the Stadel Cave in the Swabian Alps, south-west Germany. This was a few days before the outbreak of the Second World War. When it was eventually reassembled in 1970, it was regarded as a standing bear or big cat, but with human characteristics. Read more.
Twenty-six thousand years ago in the Czech Republic, one of our ice-age ancestors selected a hunk of mammoth ivory and carved this enigmatic portrait of a woman - the oldest ever found. By looking at artefacts like this as works of art, rather than archaeological finds, a new exhibition at the British Museum in London hopes to help us see them and their creators with new eyes.
Human ancestors date back millions of years, but the earliest evidence of the human mind producing symbolic imagery as a form of creative expression cannot be much older than 100,000 years. That evidence comes from Africa: this exhibition explores the later dawning of representative art in Europe and shows that even before the remarkable paintings of the Lascaux cave, France, humans were able to make work as subtle as the expressive face above. Read more.
Ice Age Art: Arrival of the modern mind runs at the British Museum, London, from 7 February to 26 May
A University of Nevada, Las Vegas research team recently unearthed fossil remains from an extinct wolf species in a wash northwest of Las Vegas, revealing the first evidence that the Ice Age mammal once lived in Nevada.
The metapodial, or foot bone, was uncovered late last year by UNLV geologist Josh Bonde during a survey of the Upper Las Vegas Wash. They have now confirmed that the bone comes from a dire wolf.
The discovery site is near the proposed Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, a fossil-rich area known for its diversity and abundance of Ice Age animal remains. Scientists estimate the fossil to be 10,000 to 15,000 years old during the Late Pleistocene period. Read more.
The analysis of human skeletal remains found in the Grotta d’Oriente Cave on the island of Favignana, Italy, show that modern humans first settled in Sicily from mainland Italy during the last Ice Age, and that, although they were island dwellers, consumed little seafood, subsisting mostly on terrestrial food sources.
The study, led by Marcello Mannino of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, revealed results from a combination of tests and analyses using mitochondrial DNA data, AMS radiocarbon dating, and isotopic analysis on skeletal finds and associated remains of human skeletons, particularly that of skeletal specimen ‘Oriente B’, unearthed in the cave during archaeological campaigns in 1972 and 2005. Read more.