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Don in Paris

In Morocco, archaeologists have discovered what they claim to be the oldest jewellery ever found in the world. They are perforated shells that are up to 150 000 years old. The shells, which were believed to have been made into necklaces and bracelets, were found in the Bizmoune Cave near the coastal town of Essaouira.

Photo: Me in Paris, on top of the Musée de l'Homme.




Lake Mungo This sitemap link provides access to all the pages on my site.
Most searches for subjects covered in Don's Maps can be accomplished by searching on this page for the subject you are after.




Egypt Ancient Egyptian culture from its beginnings through the dynasties to the Ptolemaic period and its eventual decline as a Roman Province, told through reference to its mummies, statues, burial practices and artefacts. Although my first love is the stone age, mostly before 10 000 BP, I have also become interested in the magnificent works of art produced in ancient Egypt. This set of pages is being constantly updated.

Last updated Wednesday 15 December 2021


The Venus of Willendorf Willendorf - I have added a number of flint and bone tools found at the Willendorf site to the page on the Venus of Willendorf. Scroll down to see them.

Last updated Wednesday 19 January 2022


bizshellsrect In Morocco, archaeologists have discovered what they claim to be the oldest jewellery ever found in the world. They are perforated shells that are up to 150 000 years old. The shells, which were believed to have been made into necklaces and bracelets, were found in the Bizmoune Cave near the coastal town of Essaouira.

Last updated Tuesday 23 November 2021


Battle of Megiddo An account of the Battle of Megiddo (fought in the 15th century BC) between Egyptian forces under the command of Pharaoh Thutmose III and a large rebellious coalition of Canaanite vassal states led by the king of Kadesh. It is the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail.

Last updated Monday 15 November 2021


Egyptian Ptolemaic history
Nubia and the Kingdom of Kush covered an area larger than that of Egypt, and as old, stretching from the 1st cataract of the Nile to the junction of the Blue and White Nile at Khartoum. At one time, during the 25th Dynasty, all of Egypt and Nubia was ruled by the Nubians, who invaded Egypt and attempted to bring it back to its former glory, with all of its ancient Egyptian art and gods. This page traces the history of Nubia from its earliest known beginnings with a Palaeolithic handaxe found at Selima Oasis in Sudan, made around 100 000 BC, to the end of the Meroitic Culture in 350 AD, when Meroë was destroyed by the Ethiopian Kingdom of Aksum.


Last updated Monday 15 November 2021


IMG_1433ravenrect In the Pacific Northwest Coast mythology, Raven is the powerful figure who transforms the world. Stories tell how Raven created the land, released the people from a cockle shell, and brought them fire. Raven stole the light and brought it out to light up the world. Yet Raven is a trickster—often selfish, hungry, and mischievous. He changes the world only by cleverly deceiving others in his never - ending quest for food.

Last updated Tuesday 14 September 2021


baumerect In 1940 at Baume-Latrone, or Latrone Cave, drawings from the Upper Palaeolithic were discovered in a deep network 240 metres from the entrance. They have a unique style, and have been assigned to the Aurignacian. They have been dated to 37 464 BP (cal).

Last updated Tuesday 14 September 2021


ishtarrect The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north side of the city. It was part of a grand walled processional way leading into the city. The walls were finished in glazed bricks mostly in blue, with animals and 'dragons' in low relief at intervals, these also made up of bricks that are moulded and coloured differently.

Last updated Sunday 02 January 2022


Java Man On the banks of the Bengawan Solo River in Java, Indonesia, 19th-century physician Eugène Dubois uncovered an astounding fossil find: the bones of what appeared to be an ancient human, surrounded by animal remains and shells. Excavated in the 1890s, the site gained fame as the home of 'Java Man', better known today as Homo erectus. Deliberate scratching on a fossil Pseudodon shell, is almost certainly an engraving made by Homo erectus at Trinil in Indonesia.

Last updated Sunday 08 August 2021


pasiega cave Pasiega Cave in Spain was of mostly academic interest until the discovery that some of the art in the cave may have been put there by Neanderthals. This result has now been discredited. Here is the background to that story, with many drawings of the art of the cave from the old master himself, Breuil.

Last updated Thursday 29 July 2021


  InconsistenciesInconsistencies in the EC books. Amy McDonald has found an inconsistency between the fifth and sixth books concerning Matigan, apprentice to Jondalar.

Last updated Tuesday 20 July 2021


mousterianOf all the ancient peoples that have been studied by scientists, none has set puzzles quite so profound as those left behind by the Denisovans. However game changing DNA research and techniques now mean that we can trace which hominins and animals used a particular site. No longer do we need actual fossils to determine this, a small sample of the dirt from the cave or open air site is all that is required. These methods will revolutionise archaeology and anthropology.

Last updated Monday 20 December 2021


venus_renancourtrect Another Palaeolithic Venus has been discovered in Renancourt, Amiens. The statuette is in good condition, carved in limestone/chalk, and is 40 mm high. It is estimated to be 23 000 years old, and is from the Gravettian. The breasts, buttocks and thighs are all of exaggerated volume, as is normal in this tradition.

Last updated Thursday 24 June 2021


atapuerca I have reorganised and added to the page on tools, to include sections specifically on the development of the ancient Acheulean hand axe by Homo erectus and the various types of this important tool, and the mastery of its creation by Homo neanderthalensis, who not only made it in the classic fashion, working on a core or nucleus bifacially, known as Moustérien de tradition acheuléenne or MTA, but also took flakes and turned them into bifacially worked Acheulean hand axes. There is a short summary of the development of such tools right through to Neolithic arrow heads, followed by a longer section on the step by step development of the full range of tools from choppers through to the bow and arrow.

Last updated Monday 20 December 2021


atapuerca The sites generally known as Atapuerca are a series of very important excavations in the Sierra Atapuerca, in Spain, first discovered as a result of the construction of a railway line through this limestone region. Taken together, the sites are more extensive in terms of hominin discoveries than anywhere else in Europe, or perhaps the world. The discoveries range in age from 1.4 million years old stone tools to neolithic ceramics, and the hominins include Homo erectus, Homo antecessor, Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo neanderthalensis.

Last updated Tuesday 08 June 2021


Europe Hominin sites in Europe. This is a useful tool for forming an overall understanding of hominins from Europe, including Homo sapiens.

Last updated Friday 04 June 2021


kororect Australopithecus bahrelghazali is the only Australopithecus found outside East Africa. It is named after the Bahr-el-Ghazal oasis in Chad. Dated circa 3 500 000 BP. It is the first and only australopithecine known from Central Africa, and demonstrates that this group was widely distributed across Africa as opposed to being restricted to East and southern Africa as previously thought.

Last updated Monday 13 December 2021


luzonrect Homo luzonensis is an extinct, possibly pygmy, species of archaic human from the Late Pleistocene of Luzon, the Philippines. Their remains, teeth, and phalanges, are known only from Callao Cave in the northern part of the island dating to before 50 000 years ago. They were initially identified as belonging to modern humans in 2010, but analysis has revealed that the remains are unlike any other hominin fossils known, and likely represent a distinct species of the Homo genus.

Last updated Monday 10 May 2021


mtotorectThe Middle Stone Age grave of a three year old Homo sapiens child who lived 78 000 years ago has been found in a cave in Kenya. Researchers who studied the fragile, ancient remains described how its head appeared to have been laid on a pillow. Scientists have named the child Mtoto, meaning 'child' in Swahili.

Last updated Thursday 01 July 2021


homininoverviewrectThis gives a complete short survey, with links as appropriate to more detailed pages, of hominins from around the world, including Homo sapiens.

Last updated Monday 13 December 2021


africarectHominin sites in Africa and nearby regions. This is a useful tool for forming an overall understanding of hominins from Africa, including Homo sapiens.

Last updated Tuesday 07 December 2021


Wonderwerk caveWonderwerk Cave in South Africa contains stone tools dated to two million years ago, possibly knapped by Homo habilis. It is one of the earliest cave occupation sites in the world, and is the site of some of the earliest uses of controlled fire and tool making. More images and text reflecting the latest excavations have been added.

Last updated Monday 10 May 2021


africarectThe oldest known Homo sapiens, from Jebel Irhoud in Morocco. Dated to 300 thousand years ago these early Homo sapiens already have a modern-looking face that falls within the variation of humans living today.

Last updated Monday 10 May 2021


Wezmeh_Cave The premolar, unerupted tooth of a Neanderthal child, Wezmeh 1, has been identified from Wezmeh Cave, Iran. The child is estimated to have been between 6-10 years old, and the tooth is believed to be from a child taken as prey by a hyena elsewhere, and consumed in the cave. More photos and text of recent discoveries has been added.

Last updated Monday 10 May 2021


trou magrite venusTrou Magrite venus - this 38 mm high ivory statuette was discovered by Dupont in 1867 during excavations conducted in the 19th century in the Trou Magrite near Dinant. It is the only venus from Belgium.

Last updated Friday 16 April 2021


rogalik venusThe Rogalik venus is a female figure engraved on a slate slab which has been used as a retoucher, from the late Palaeolithic, possibly around 13 000 BP.

Last updated Friday 02 April 2021


Bâtons PercésBâton Percé - This is an important recent find, the first bâton percé found in the Iberian peninsula. It is part of the group which are believed to be used to ply yarn into three ply thread, cords, or rope.

Last updated Friday 26 February 2021


moscerini Tools and other artefacts from the stone age of Germany, from the earliest examples to the Aurignacian. Some of the most interesting tools which are prevalent in central and western Europe are the blattspitzen, or bifacially worked leaf tips from the Middle Palaeolithic - Aurignacian interface, apparently modelled on the best Acheulean hand axes, but much smaller and just as finely worked, and used as knives and as points for hand held thrusting spears.

Last updated Monday 18 October 2021


purposerect What was the purpose of the Palaeolithic Venus figures? This page gives an overview of the Venus Figures, and discusses the possible reasons for the creation of these iconic and mystifying figures.

Last updated Thursday 13 January 2022


partisancave Partisan Cave in Slovenia - based on a chemical analysis of the red colour from one of the cave walls, this may be a remnant of the first Palaeolithic cave painting art in Slovenia. A human incisor belonging to a Neanderthal, which is the first fossil remains of Neanderthal man found in Slovenia, has been found.

Last updated Monday 14 December 2020


Denmark The first fifteen days of our wonderful cycling trip from Amsterdam to Copenhagen. By the end of day 15 we had gotten to Ringe, on the island of Fyn, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen.

Last updated Monday 14 December 2020


l'Abri Cellier Le Ruth and Le Cellier - Sous le Ruth is the house beneath the archeological site, le Ruth, near le Moustier, and is a private gisement, with a good display of stone tools, and access to the excavated site of le Ruth. Le Cellier is an important site a few hundred metres away, which yielded many Aurignacian tools and stone engravings of vulvas. The deposits of le Ruth above Sous le Ruth were excavated by Otto Hauser. This page has been reorganised.

Last updated Wednesday 28 October 2020


cellier venusCellier Venus - this Venus figure was carved from mammoth ivory. Only about five centimetres tall, the figure was found at Abri Cellier in France. The head and hairline are clearly visible. The paired marks are common on Aurignacian objects but their significance is not known.

Last updated Saturday 03 October 2020




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