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Here's the Oldest Engraving EVER. Made 430,000 to 540,000 Years Ago.

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posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 03:36 PM
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I'm a big fan of things that are the oldest example of [whatever] and these shells don't disappoint in terms of sheer age.

From Live Science (via Obscuragator):


Researchers in Java, Indonesia, discovered engravings on a shell that dates to between 540,000 and 430,000 years ago. The ancient artwork could be the oldest known geometric carving made by a human ancestor, the researchers said.

It's unclear what the engraving — a series of slashes and an "M"-shaped zigzag — means, but it could indicate that Homo erectus, the ancestor of modern humans, may have been smarter than was previously thought.




The shell is one of 166 shells excavated from Java in the 1890's at the Trinil site that are now stored in the Naturalis museum (Netherlands). It is believed that it could possibly have been engraved with a shark tooth. According to lead researcher, Josephine Joordens, the shells would have been much darker at the time and the engraved lines would have been appeared white in contrast.

Another of the shells had a sharpened edge and was probably a tool for cutting or scraping:



More pictures can be found here and at Discovery News here.
edit on 2014-12-3 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Wow that is old! Accurate dating too! Only 100,000 year range? That's it?? I guess it is in between 50 and 3,000 years old...I am probably more accurate and I didn't even see it in person....



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 03:46 PM
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a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

Why can't it be that old?.
I think it is marvelous I wonder what was going through the mind of the Artist.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 03:49 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

The carving could have been done not that long ago, it's the shell that was dated as old.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 03:49 PM
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Wow, it looks like, "Jim' was here! lol!

That is a stretch me thinks.....



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

The abstract contains the details of the how the dating was done:


We dated sediment contained in the shells with 40Ar/39Ar and luminescence dating methods, obtaining a maximum age of 0.54 ± 0.10 million years and a minimum age of 0.43 ± 0.05 million years.


If you're interested: Wikipedia: Argon-Argon Dating. The specific luminescent dating method is not noted in the abstract and I'm not paying $32 to find out what it is!



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

The " M " engraving to me looks too precise and to intentional to be some hominid making pretty scratch marks on a shell. Maybe he was putting his "sign" on it in a way of saying "Hey, this is my shell. Keep your mits off". Either way this is quite an exciting find. Thank you for the thread.

As these were items that have been museum kept for quite awhile I'm eager to see what comes out of other museums dusty, forgotten boxes.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 04:15 PM
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That is interesting of course it is hard to know whether the shape was intentional or accidental - but a thought-provoking glimpse nonetheless

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Chrisfishenstein - it a good idea to actually read something before trying to make a dismissive remark about it....just sayin'.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 04:30 PM
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The marks look like how most people sign their names now. This is a great find, and it's amazing that a shell would last that long too. thanks OP for a nice and interesting thread.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Awesome find!

I'm the type that feels that man is much,much older than we are "allowed" to believe.

Just thinking that the spot where I am typing from was under hundreds of feet of ocean for millions of years until relatively recently shows how much the earth changes over time.

It makes me wonder what could be under the muck of the sea floor.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 05:13 PM
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maybe it got stuck against a sharp rock and the movement of the waves scratched it... ?



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 05:34 PM
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The face of the hominen that made these scratchings, Home Erectus.



Pretty cool to think a species other than modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens making the first attempt at potential writing, or art, or just having fun making scratch marks in a shell.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 06:02 PM
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originally posted by: Blackmarketeer
The face of the hominen that made these scratchings, Home Erectus.



Pretty cool to think a species other than modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens making the first attempt at potential writing, or art, or just having fun making scratch marks in a shell.


Hey he did get the M in E=MC2!!!



posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 12:31 AM
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Did anyone else see the face of Winnie the Poo there in the upper left?



posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 02:57 AM
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a reply to: stirling

i did.
we all know ancient man had a sweet tooth and was especially fond of honey.
i think perhaps the neanderthals worshipped winnie the pooh as some kind of stuffed deity. this shell bears his mark because this is the ceremonial dish used to offer honey to the pooh to gain his favor.
the ceremonial dish could also be used as a makeshift weapon should the camp be raided by the cult of piglet.

they should search nearby as there are likely more religious artifacts as well as stores of ancient honey that would make some excellent mead.



posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 03:11 AM
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a reply to: boymonkey74

I expect they were wondering how your cat is ?

I doubt we give Homo Erectus enough credit as I expect to live on this planet with the hazards Erectus faced and overcame, took considerable skill. Just to feed a group and coordinate keeping it safe and the nurture of the little ones must have been a full on struggle at times. So little is left of them as we loose the organic things they made and used we barely get glimpses into their world.



posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 06:42 AM
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maybe indonesia is the lost tribe that Nazi search for..
snf..very amazing discover, 500.000 years..wow



posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 06:45 AM
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a reply to: cheesy

Cheesy


You are back


Many have missed you and your lovely demeanor
.
Good to see you buddy
.



posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 06:58 AM
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originally posted by: nerbot
a reply to: theantediluvian

The carving could have been done not that long ago, it's the shell that was dated as old.


Yes.

And by 'carving' we could also substitute 'scraping'..as in a shell scraping against a sharp rock, on the sea shore, by the action of the tides...

As for the so-called sharpened edge on another shell, this could also have been achieved naturally, by the action of tides moving a shell back and forth, back and forth over a fine sandy surface...the sand being abrasive could easily have produced a sharp edge on the shell.

Unless there is some other corroborating evidence, i don't see how anyone, especially professionals can reliably claim this isn't the action of natural wear and erosion.



posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 09:19 AM
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I think it's more likely it was scratched out of curiosity to see the contrast in colors, as indicated by the article.



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