HomeScience and ResearchArchaeologyRevealed: One of the Oldest and Most Impressive Neolithic Ornaments

Revealed: One of the Oldest and Most Impressive Neolithic Ornaments

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An extraordinary necklace from the 9000-year-old village recreated and exposed today

A recent analysis of a body ornament discovered in Jordan sheds light on the intricately intertwined facets of art, commerce, status, and burial rites in Neolithic culture.

The Discovery of a unique accessory, a multi-row necklace found in a child’s burial site in ancient Jordan, reveals a deeper understanding of Neolithic societal complexity.

This analysis, conducted by Hala Alarashi from Spain’s Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and France’s Université Côte d’Azur along with her team, was published today, in the PLOS ONE open-access journal.

The items under scrutiny include over 2,500 vibrant stone and shell pieces, two extraordinary amber beads, which are the oldest known of their kind in the Levant, as well as an imposing stone pendant and an intricately carved mother-of-pearl ring.

After an examination of these objects’ material, design, and arrangement, the researchers concluded they were parts of a single, elaborate multi-row necklace that has since disassembled. The team recreated the necklace’s original form, now on exhibit at the Petra Museum in Southern Jordan.

The multi-row necklace is one of the oldest and most amazing pieces of jewelry from the Neolithic period. It gives us new information about how people of high social rank were buried at the time.

It looks like the necklace was painstakingly handcrafted, with the help of some imported exotic materials.

Discovery of an extraordinary necklace from the 9000-year-old village recreated and exposed today
Discovery of an extraordinary necklace from the 9000-year-old village recreated and exposed today

Further research into this Neolithic civilization is undoubtedly warranted given the intricate social relationships involving community members at Ba’ja, including artists, merchants, and high-status officials who would commission such artifacts, that are revealed by this necklace’s analysis.

In their conclusion, the authors write: “Adorning the deceased child, bridging the worlds of life and death: The discovery and reconstruction of an extraordinary necklace from the 9000-year-old village of Ba’ja (Jordan).”

Source: 10.1371/journal.pone.0288075

Image Credit: Alarashi et al., 2023, PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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