The oldest piercing

In 1913 at Olduvai gorge in Northern Tanzania was found fossilized remains of a young man, named Olduvai hominid, Olduvai, or people.

the Researchers repeatedly returned to the study of his skeleton. It was found that the age of the remains is from 20 to 12 thousand years.

in addition, experts have noticed some strange damage to teeth. It was assumed that “injury” was obtained due to chewing tough vegetable material.

Now, an international team of anthropologists has put forward a new version. After examining the teeth and jaw bone Olduvai hominid, scientists concluded that the remains were preserved the traces of piercing. This is the earliest example of such a body modification of people who lived in Africa, and second oldest in the world.

According to scientists, the nature of the tooth wear suggests that hominids wore jewelry in the bottom lip and both cheeks. They “were vistavlyali” tooth enamel.

most Likely, we are talking about the labret. Today, these products consist of rods, hats and cheating, which can take various forms.

it is noted that the ornaments had a width of at least 2.5 centimeters. It is possible to insert require a large incision. But likely we are talking about the stretching of the tissues. So initially the cut was small, but increases with time, turning into the tunnel. Accordingly, the “grow up” and decoration.

Scientists are not sure what material was made labret. It is assumed that this could be solid wood. Perhaps it disintegrated over time, or the decoration was removed from the deceased after death.

to Determine the value of this piercing is also not an easy task. Until now, experts had no data on such modifications of the body among people who lived in Africa in the late Pleistocene.

“We use clothes, hairstyles, tattoos, piercings, and much more, to say something about how we identify ourselves as a person and/or member of [a certain] group. Piercings on his face and his decorations in ancient times, acted in the same way – as markers of social identity,” says lead author John Willman (John Willman) of the University of Coimbra.

by the Way, before “News.Science” told about the jewelry that tens of thousands of years ago have inserted in the nose of the Australian aborigines. In addition, piercings in the ear with a diameter of 7-11 mm was found at the famous ├Âtzi the Iceman.

Anthropologists hope that in the future will find more such examples and understand how important these or other decoration for the ancient people.

read More about the new work discussed in the article presented in the publication American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Text: To.Science