Sorry, Chronology is all Wrong

February 4, 2010 at 9:43 am 1 comment

My chronology is all wrong

The last ten days or so I have had a doubt spinning around in the back of my head: Spinning and weaving were discovered much, much earlier than I proposed.

They were.

Ten years ago, Robert G. Bednarik pointed out that c. 850 000 years ago, people belonging to our fore-fathers and mothers, Homo erectus,  may have used fibres to make cordage when they constructed fleets for long sea-voyages.     Not fibres from nettles, but from a various indigenous wild plants.

Another indication is a pebble, aged c. 500 000 years and found in Gross Pamplau, not far from Hamburg in Germany,  on which somebody has incised a net pattern.

Then around 300 000 and 200 000 years ago, small beads with a diameter of only 6 mm  appear. You need a thin but strong string to thread them into a necklace.

Yes:  Textile work is much, much older than we imagine. Before we modern humans appeared our fore-mothers and fore-fathers of the species Homo erectus began the transformation of nature into culture. We did not; they taught us.

On the top of this:  I find that the pottery objects from the oven in Dolní Vestonice (c. 28 000 years ago) show the potter had  an advanced knowledge in preparing the clay for burning.  Pottery making did not begin in Dolní and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if some much earlier finds show up somewhere else.

And I cannot see any reason why the members of Homo erectus shouldn’t have used combs.

So, terribly sorry; my chronology was all wrong. However, my question remains:

Why did the potters comb their vases?

Why did the goddesses and the dead recieve miniture combs as gifts? What is the inner meaning of the comb?


Entry filed under: Combs, Dolni Vestonice, Pottery.

The Goat that is a comb Combs of Wood: the Anthropomorphic Tree

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. anna carpenter  |  February 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Genetic studies are cleverly looking at the body louse when it first evolved from the head louse. The body louse lives in clothing only and they can track it down to 72,000 years ago, give or take several thousand years either way. I found that fascinating.
    Ralf Kittler, Manfred Kayser, and Mark Stoneking, “Molecular Evolution of Pediculus Humanus and the Origin of Clothing” Current Biology 12:1414-1417 (2003).

    Other researchers have challenged a technical aspect of the above paper. The challenge, if sustained, would suggest a considerably older date, perhaps up until 500,000 years ago, for the evolution of the body louse and the invention of clothing. David L. Reed et al. “Genetic Analysis of Lice Supports Direct Contact between Modern and Archaic Humans” Public Library of Science Biology 2:1972-1983 (2004)


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