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Scientists reveal a first in Ice Age art
PhysOrg.com ^ | 06-21-2011 | Provided by Smithsonian

Posted on 06/21/2011 11:16:04 AM PDT by Red Badger

Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Florida have announced the discovery of a bone fragment, approximately 13,000 years old, in Florida with an incised image of a mammoth or mastodon. This engraving is the oldest and only known example of Ice Age art to depict a proboscidean (the order of animals with trunks) in the Americas. The team's research is published online in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

The bone was discovered in Vero Beach, Fla. by James Kennedy, an avocational fossil hunter, who collected the bone and later while cleaning the bone, discovered the engraving. Recognizing its potential importance, Kennedy contacted scientists at the University of Florida and the Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute and National Museum of Natural History.

"This is an incredibly exciting discovery," said Dennis Stanford, anthropologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and co-author of this research. "There are hundreds of depictions of proboscideans on cave walls and carved into bones in Europe, but none from America—until now."

The engraving is 3 inches long from the top of the head to the tip of the tail, and 1.75 inches tall from the top of the head to the bottom of the right foreleg. The fossil bone is a fragment from a long bone of a large mammal—most likely either a mammoth or mastodon, or less likely a giant sloth. A precise identification was not possible because of the bone's fragmented condition and lack of diagnostic features.

"The results of this investigation are an excellent example of the value of interdisciplinary research and cooperation among scientists," said Barbara Purdy, professor emerita of anthropology at the University of Florida and lead author of the team's research. "There was considerable skepticism expressed about the authenticity of the incising on the bone until it was examined exhaustively by archaeologists, paleontologists, forensic anthropologists, materials science engineers and artists."

One of the main goals for the research team was to investigate the timing of the engraving—was it ancient or was it recently engraved to mimic an example of prehistoric art? It was originally found near a location, known as the Old Vero Site, where human bones were found side-by-side with the bones of extinct Ice Age animals in an excavation from 1913 to 1916. The team examined the elemental composition of the engraved bone and others from the Old Vero Site. They also used optical and electron microscopy, which showed no discontinuity in coloration between the carved grooves and the surrounding material. This indicated that both surfaces aged simultaneously and that the edges of the carving were worn and showed no signs of being carved recently or that the grooves were made with metal tools.

Believed to be genuine, this rare specimen provides evidence that people living in the Americas during the last Ice Age created artistic images of the animals they hunted. The engraving is at least 13,000 years old as this is the date for the last appearance of these animals in eastern North America, and more recent Pre-Columbian people would not have seen a mammoth or mastodon to draw.

The team's research also further validates the findings of geologist Elias Howard Sellards at the Old Vero Site in the early 20th Century. His claims that people were in North America and hunted animals at Vero Beach during the last Ice Age have been disputed over the past 95 years.

A cast of the carved fossil bone is now part of an exhibit of Florida Mammoth and Mastodons at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; florida; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; mammoth; mammoths; pleistocene; verobeach; veroman
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To: AD from SpringBay

There are three Columbians standing side by side. For an example of what the artist was trying to execute take a look at: http://allotherpersons.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/robert_shaw_54th_memorial.jpg?w=400&h=300


21 posted on 06/21/2011 12:26:59 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Red Badger

22 posted on 06/21/2011 12:28:33 PM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: P.O.E.

Columbian Mammoth

Mammuthus columbi

An average Columbian mammoth stood over 12 feet tall at the shoulder and weighed over 10,000 pounds. The mammoth's primary diet consisted of grasses, which was quite different from the diets of their modern relatives, the Indian and African elephants. Yet, like these elephants, the Columbian mammoth had a set of four teeth that was replaced by new sets as the older teeth eventually became worn. This type of tooth replacement continued to produce six sets over the course of about 60 years and then, like all elephants, the mammoth would starve as the final set wore out.

23 posted on 06/21/2011 12:32:50 PM PDT by Red Badger (Nothing is a 'right' if someone has to give it to you................)
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To: muawiyah; AD from SpringBay

See my post #23.

Thanks muawiyah!...........


24 posted on 06/21/2011 12:34:10 PM PDT by Red Badger (Nothing is a 'right' if someone has to give it to you................)
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To: Red Badger

Saw that Columbian profile and knew it instantly.


25 posted on 06/21/2011 12:38:12 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

“Why did I immediately think of Jimmy Durante when I read the word ‘proboscidean?’”

He was a schnozzocidean. Completely different order.


26 posted on 06/21/2011 12:39:38 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: Red Badger

unidentified animal cracker


27 posted on 06/21/2011 12:56:19 PM PDT by School of Rational Thought ("The proposition that the government is always right is manifested either in corruption or benefits)
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To: decimon

And they reached America on the Grand Trunk Railroad.


28 posted on 06/21/2011 1:07:36 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: muawiyah

“The guy doing the engraving was probably Clovis ~ which means he had European ancestors who lived in the Western European refugia. They had a thriving art culture.”

Such a scenario is not necessary. Such a scenario posits that different groups of humans living separately and far apart were incapable of acquiring the very same skills and talents. There is no reason to believe that to be the case.


29 posted on 06/21/2011 1:16:32 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Red Badger

Early scrimshaw.. Clearly an elephant type critter.

It’s well done too.


30 posted on 06/21/2011 1:18:09 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: TASMANIANRED

I have absolutely no talent for drawing, yet somebody 13,000 years ago was able to draw a mammoth...........


31 posted on 06/21/2011 1:21:06 PM PDT by Red Badger (Nothing is a 'right' if someone has to give it to you................)
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To: School of Rational Thought

It's an elephant............

32 posted on 06/21/2011 1:24:58 PM PDT by Red Badger (Nothing is a 'right' if someone has to give it to you................)
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To: JoeProBono

looks like the GOP was doing direct-mail fundraising even back then...


33 posted on 06/21/2011 1:36:10 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Red Badger

Great minds think alike.


34 posted on 06/21/2011 1:38:41 PM PDT by School of Rational Thought ("The proposition that the government is always right is manifested either in corruption or benefits)
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To: Red Badger

I’m a bit lacking in that talent as well.


35 posted on 06/21/2011 1:41:27 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: Red Badger

So what happend to all the artists after this? This looks like a well drawn mastidon. Later American Indian art looks more like boxes with sticks for legs and antlers.


36 posted on 06/21/2011 3:21:11 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Click my name. See my home page, if you dare! NEW PHOTOS!)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

So what happend to all the artists after this? This looks like a well drawn mastidon. Later American Indian art looks more like boxes with sticks for legs and antlers.


Most likely the tribal chiefs began to subsidize art.


37 posted on 06/21/2011 3:23:21 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( getting closer to the truth.................)
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To: Wuli
In this case we are looking at what amounted to a VAST EMPTY WASTELAND DEVOID OF HUMANS.

The individual who engraved this piece may well have been an immigrant ~ from Europe!

Before him there really weren't all that many folks wandering around North America.

38 posted on 06/21/2011 6:14:43 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: PeterPrinciple; Red Badger; Ruy Dias de Bivar
BTW, de Bivar, did you know Daniel Boone's wife's family were Van Beeber. That means, pretty much, de Bivar.

Now, for what happened to later artists ~ they got killed when what is believed to have been a giant comet hit the residual ice sheet in Canada about 11,000 BC. That brought on the Younger Dryas, and that in turn brought back a truly evil, nasty, brutal climate to the Northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere for thenext 1500 years ~ to about 9500 BC ~ the Clovis culture simply disappeared. Later cultures were far different.

39 posted on 06/21/2011 6:20:00 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Concho
I agree....no cross or wear scratches..

Just because the bone is old, doesn't mean the engraving is old.

40 posted on 06/21/2011 6:20:06 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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