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Mammoth Tusk “Tiara” Discovered in Denisova Cave

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Denisovan ivory tiaraNOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA—According to a report in The Siberian Times, archaeologists have found a 50,000-year-old piece of worked woolly mammoth tusk in the southern gallery of Denisova Cave. Alexander Fedorchenko of the Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography suggests the curved ivory object is a fragment of an ornament whose large size indicates it was worn by a Denisovan man. A cord would have been threaded through holes in either end of the piece and then tied around the wearer's head in order to keep his hair out of his eyes. There is evident wear and tear on the artifact, which was eventually discarded. Such ivory “tiaras,” as they are called, have been found in other parts of Siberia, but those decorated items were created between 20,000 and 28,000 years ago by modern humans. The Densiovan tiara suggests the tradition could be older than previously thought. For more, go to “Denisovan DNA.”

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