Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Predmosti finds

A recent report details the discovery, by Becky Farbstein of Cambdige University, of two small pieces of bone bearing incised lines at the site of Predmosti, in Moravia. Here's the only image of the finds I've been able to locate so far.

Accoridng to the timeline provided by the report (25-30 kya - no mention of whether this is in calibrated years BP), the finds would belong to the Gravettian (or Pavlovian, in East-Central Europe), an industry for which a rich body of artistic behavior is documented, especially in Moravia, where figurines, dolls, ornaments and rich burials are well-documented. Thus, two "thumbnail-sized" pieces of incised bone hardly represent a revolutionary find, though little new in the way of decorated artifacts had been found at Predmosti since the original excavations, about a century ago. Every little bit helps, though, when trying to understand the complexity of artistic behavior in the deep past. It'd be interesting to see if a similar find would have been published without additional expert commentary had it been made in Mousterian or even Aurignacian context...

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