News: World’s Oldest Needle Found in Siberian Cave

Although this news isn’t current (the needle was discovered last summer), it will still be of interest to anyone who didn’t read about the discovery at the time.

The 7 centimetre (2 3/4 inch) needle was made and used by our long extinct Denisovan ancestors, a recently-discovered hominin species or subspecies.

Scientists found the sewing implement – complete with a hole for thread – during the annual summer archaeological dig at a cave in the Altai Mountains widely believed to hold the secrets of human origins. It appears to be still usable after 50,000 years.

Professor Mikhail Shunkov, head of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Novosibirsk, said: ‘It is the most unique find of this season, which can even be called sensational. It is a needle made of bone. As of today it is the most ancient needle in the word. It is about 50,000 years old.’

The needle is seen as providing proof that the long-gone Denisovans – named after the cave – were more sophisticated than previously believed. It predates by some 10,000 years an intricate modern-looking piece of polished jewellery made of chlorite by the Denisovans.

To read about the discovery in full, visit the website of the Siberian Times.

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News: Archaeologists Find Ancient Mummy Approximately 1,500 Years Old in Mongolia

Siberian Times - Ancient Mongolian Mummy

Remains of a suspected female of Turkik origin have been found at an altitude of 2,803 metres in the Altai Mountains.

The ancient human remains are wrapped in felt. The excavation is being hailed as the first complete Turkik burial found in Central Asia. B. Sukhbaatar, researcher at Khovd Museum, said: ‘This person was not from elite, and we believe it was likely a woman, because there is no bow in the tomb. Now we are carefully unwrapping the body and once this is complete the specialists will be able to say more precisely about the gender.’

In the mummy’s grave archaeologists found – alongside the human remains – a saddle, bridle, clay vase, wooden bowl, trough, iron kettle, the remains of an entire horse, and four different ‘Dool’ (Mongolian clothes). There were also pillows, a sheep’s head and felt travel bag in which were placed the whole back of a sheep, goat bones and a small leather bag for the cup.

Sukhbaatar said: ‘It is the first complete Turkik burial at least in Mongolia – and probably in all Central Asia. This is a very rare phenomenon. These finds show us the beliefs and rituals of Turkiks.’

To read the full article, visit the website of the Siberian Times.