In China, archaeologists during excavations in the Shandong province discovered an unusual bone tool – a “shovel”, which is at least 99,000 years old. This weapon is already recognized as the oldest ever found on the territory of China.
The opening was reported by Xinhua News Agency. An ivory “shovel” was unearthed during excavations at a Paleolithic site in Yishui County. According to Li Gang of the Provincial Institute for Cultural Relics and Archeology, researchers have unearthed eight cultural layers with a total depth of eight meters.
As a result, they discovered more than 5,000 fully and partially preserved stone artifacts, products from the bones, teeth and horns of animals. The ivory “shovel” was the most notable find. First, this weapon is the oldest of its kind found in China. Secondly, such instruments, carved from ivory, and of this age have practically never been found anywhere.
Scientists carried out dating both by the uranium method and by the photoluminescence method. The artifact and the soil from the layer in which it was found were examined. The dating data indicate that the age of the unusual instrument is from 99 to 104 thousand years. Scientists are still arguing about the purpose of this weapon. Despite the fact that it resembles a shovel, experts believe that this tool may have been used to make other bone tools.
A similar find is reported by the Turkish resource Daily Sabah. An international team of researchers, which included specialists from Turkey and Germany, during the rescue excavations discovered stone and bone tools about 14 thousand years old. The artifacts were found in a cave in the Dikili region in the west of the Turkish province of Izmir.
It is believed that even in the prehistoric period, this cave began to be used as a cult center dedicated to the mother goddess Cybele. Moreover, it remained a sacred place until the beginning of the Roman era. In this case, the age of the found stone tools was confirmed by the method of radiocarbon dating.