Skip to comments.Archaeologists Uncovers 11,000-Year-Old Artefacts In Syria
Posted on 10/23/2007 1:17:42 PM PDT by blam
Archaeologist uncovers 11,000-year-old artefacts in Syria
Latest discoveries in Syria date back to start of Neolithic era in Epipalaeolithic period.
By Talal el-Atrache - DAMASCUS
A small stone anthropomorphic Neolithic figurine
Deep in the heart of northern Syria, close to the banks of the Euphrates River, archaeologists have uncovered a series of startling 11,000-year-old wall paintings and artefacts.
"The wall paintings date back to the 9th millennium BC. They were discovered last month on the wall of a house standing two metres (6.6 feet) high at Dja'de," said Frenchman Eric Coqueugniot, who has been leading the excavations on the west bank of the river at Dja'de, in an area famous for its rich tradition of prehistoric treasures.
The etchings are "polychrome paintings in black, white and red. The designs are solely geometric, and only figurative. The composition is made up of a system cross-hatched lines, alternating between the three colours," Coqueugniot said.
They were found in a circular building, around 7.5 metres (25 feet) in diameter. The excavated house features three solid blocks where the paintings were located.
The main pillar has been completely excavated and stands almost two metres high displaying the new murals, said Coqueugniot, a researcher for the Paris-based National Centre for Scientific Research.
The remains of the building, much larger than the small and rectangular domestic dwellings of the period, "must have been used as a meeting place for the whole village or for a clan," he added.
Apart from the organic artefacts, which have decomposed over time, the site has provided many well-preserved treasures.
Carved stone tools, flints, seed-grinding implements and brick-grinding stones have been recovered. Many bone objects were also found -- both remnants of the animals that made up part of the daily diet and intricately fashioned tools.
The dig also uncovered several figurines made of gypsum, chalk, bone and clay. The most recent discovery, an 11,000-year-old statue of a man is "particularly important and well preserved," Coqueugniot said.
This item will allow comparisons with other similar sculptures found on sites in the Urfa region of southern Turkey, added the French scientist, who has overseen archaeological projects at Dja'de for 15 years.
"The figures could have had religious significance. The female statuettes could also have been fertility symbols. But they could have had entirely different ritual meanings," Coqueugniot said
"We can only offer hypotheses," he added. "It is still very difficult to say what was the significance of this 11,000-year-old statue of the woman."
The latest discoveries date back to the start of the Neolithic era, in a period known as the Epipalaeolithic.
Many artefacts from this period have been discovered in northern Syria, in particular at Jerf al-Ahmar, a site destroyed by the Tishrin dam, Coqueugniot said. It was one of several built over the past three decades that have flooded a number of archaeological sites.
For example, the dam at Tabqa flooded an area of around 650 square kilometres (250 square miles) after it was erected in 1976. Prior to that, the government approved testing of 56 sites, 20 of which were spared when the dam was built.
< insert Helen Thomas joke here >
Too bad they couldn’t find Saddam’s WMD’s.
But, but, I thought the world was 6,000 years old?
Well, that proves they have no nuclear weapons!
The wall or the painting is two meters high. A house wall that old, that high would be remarkable in itself. Pictures required of course.
“Artefact is a fulltext information retrieval system capable of searching through databases containing documents written in a natural language.” - Wikipedia.
They found one of THESE things?????
Also found were parts of a Canaanite nuclear weapon and Israelite smart bomb fragments.
You can think whatever you want. It's all a best guess anyway, based on whatever one decides is credible evidence.
That is surprisingly radical.
A small stone anthropomorphic Neolithic figurine
This figurine in the article dose not look like a monkey to me. More like a take off of Arnold SwartzWhatsHisName of California fame.
I guess they really DON’T build them like they used to.
It kinda looks to me to be a picture of a building. Two walls connecting to the left and a stairway to the right.
It has some of that perspective effect. Maybe a touch of cubism.
Is 11,000 years ago Antediluvian?
Boy, you really know how to ruin a joke.
Or possibly a very early, very stale gingerbread man.
[”The wall paintings date back to the 9th millennium BC]
When asked how they dated the discovery to 9th millennium BC, an expert declared the date was written on the wall.
“the start of the Neolithic era, in a period known as the Epipalaeolithic.”
Okay, I’ve gotta look that up.
[snip] Mesolithic or Epipaleolithic
. . .
The Epipaleolithic or Mesolithic was a period in the development of human technology that precedes the Neolithic period of the Stone Age. It is preferred as an alternative to Mesolithic in areas with limited glacial impact. The period began at the end of the Pleistocene epoch around 10,000 years ago and ended with the introduction of farming around 8,000 years ago.
The Epipalaeolithic is distinguished at least in the Middle East, Anatolia and on Cyprus, that is, in areas where the Neolithic Revolution (neolithisation) occurs early and the post-glacial climatic change is not very marked.
Epipalaeolithic hunter-gatherers made relatively advanced tools made from small flint or obsidian blades, known as microliths that were hafted in wooden implements. They were generally nomadic, although the Natufian culture of the Levant established permanent settlements. [end]
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11,000 years? Impossible! The Universe was created 6010 years ago yesterday. I saw it on the internet, so it must be true, right?
My corneas just melted.
And “Made in China” on the bottom.
Next time I’ll use the 3-D glasses version. Really jumps right out.