Recent additions, changes and updates to Don's Maps


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Recent additions, changes and updates to Don's Maps

Don in Paris

I am working on the numerical data for the instance of dots and lines on Palaeolithic art, and on various sites in the Czech Republic, as well as interpreting an important paper by Monique et Claude Archambeau on the drawings of humans in la Grotte des Combarelles.

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.

Coliboaia Cave The oldest cave paintings in Central Europe, estimated at between 23 000 and 35 000 BP, were discovered by a team of Romanian speleologists at the Coliboaia Cave, Romania. More photographs and text have been added.

Last updated Saturday 04 February 2023

mladcaverect The Mladečské Caves are a cave complex in the municipality of Mladeč in the Czech Republic, about 80 km north east of Brno. The site is a valuable resource for artefacts from the Old and Middle Palaeolithic.

Last updated Thursday 19 January 2023

dots and lines Dots and lines are the most ubiquitous abstract symbols in Palaeolithic art, whether on the walls of caves or on suitable pieces of bone and ivory. Many researchers have noted the occurrence of these symbols, and their occurrence particularly in relation to representations of animals. Here I have put together some of the best examples. The evidence presented here shows that where the evidence exists and the data is sufficient, there is no correlation between the Taxon and the number of dots or lines. For example, horses have numbers of dots and lines which are spread across the range of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, and Aurochs (early cattle) have numbers of dots and lines which include 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 18 or more.

Last updated Monday 16 January 2023

El Pendo Venus El Pendo Cave, Camargo, province of Santander, is famous for the venus figure found there. More photographs of the cave, the artwork on the walls, and portable art found there have been added.

Last updated Monday 16 January 2023

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 Friday 06 January 2023

gudenrect The Gudenushöhle cave is situated 20 km northwest of the city of Krems, in the valley of the Little Krems, not far from Willendorf, in Lower Austria. The site is close to the River Danube, and has yielded both Neanderthal and Magdalenian artefacts, including many tools, as well as an engraved reindeer bone and a fragment of a bone flute dated to about 18 000 – 12 000 BP.

Last updated Sunday 25 December 2022

willendorfrect2 During the Upper Palaeolithic, ice age hunters used the slopes of the Danube valley repeatedly. Willendorf is one such site, and although justly famous for the Venus of Willendorf, it is also an important Gravettian and Aurignacian site for the other artefacts found there.

Last updated Monday 26 December 2022

richardrect The small cave of Les Eyzies or la Grotte Richard opens above the village of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, on the right shore of the Beune. Its prehistoric occupation is established in the Upper Magdalenian. It has been largely forgotten, but is an important site.

Last updated Tuesday 20 December 2022

Altamira Cave and paintings Altamira Cave is 270 metres long and consists of a series of twisting passages and chambers, and is decorated with ice age paintings. The artists used charcoal and ochre or haematite to create the images. They also exploited the natural contours in the cave walls to give their subjects a three-dimensional effect. The Polychrome Ceiling is the most impressive feature of the cave, depicting a herd of extinct Steppe Bison in different poses, two horses, a large doe, and possibly a wild boar. Around 13 000 years ago a rockfall sealed the cave's entrance, preserving its contents until its eventual discovery.

Last updated Wednesday 18 January 2023

La MadeleineLa Madeleine is a rock shelter located in the Vézère valley, in the Dordogne, France. In 1926 the skeleton of a three year old child was discovered, with exquisite shell jewellery, dating from the end of the Magdalenian period. It is a treasure house of art and knowledge about the people of the Magdalenian. Several historic photographs, as well as modern ones of the gisement have been added, as well as much more information on the tools.

Last updated Sunday 15 January 2023

Photoshop rect Photoshop for beginners - I am not an expert, I am a beginner myself (though I have spent many years trying to understand a small part of this encyclopaedia for image manipulation), but this text and images may be of use to someone just starting out on the Photoshop journey. At the moment it covers part of rotation and cropping and healing of images, removing backgrounds, and healing just the edge of an object. I will be adding to this initial study as time affords.

Last updated Friday 19 August 2022

swampaperect The swamp ape Oreopithecus bambolii was 120 cm tall and weighed 30 kg, with a brain capacity of up to 200 cm3 lived in swampy areas of what is now Italy, 10 to 8 million years ago. The long forelimbs are indicative of tree-dwelling. The ape went extinct after a land bridge connected their island to the mainland, allowing large saber-toothed cats and other predators to stalk the island.

Last updated Saturday 04 June 2022

loess Achenheim is an important site from the Middle Palaeolithic (75 000 to 35 000 years ago) and bears witness to the presence of Neanderthal man in Alsace: Achenheim was an animal butchering area. The site includes the bones of several large animals (rhinoceros, horse, mammoth, bison, Megaloceros) butchered on the spot after the hunt.

Last updated Wednesday 11 May 2022

Egypt Magical amber animals - many of the Mesolithic period’s artistic masterpieces have been found in Denmark. Among them are bears, a bird and an elk of amber. The figures are elegant and shaped in a way that is true to nature. The people who made them must have had a good knowledge of how a real bear, and other animals, looked. Like many other amber finds from the Stone Age, the animal figures have been found in bogs or on beaches. Many appear to be amulets, and probably had great spiritual significance.

Last updated Monday 18 April 2022

Lalinde / Gönnersdorf Figurines and EngravingsLalinde/Gonnersdorf figurines and engravings are strictly stylised, overtly female forms with over-sized buttocks, long trunks, small or missing breasts, and no heads. More information and images as well as plans and cross sections of the Gare de Couze and the Grotte de la Roche near the town of Lalinde have been added.

Last updated Sunday 13 March 2022

The Venus of Willendorf The Venus of Willendorf is made of a rock called oolite, a form of limestone that is not found in or around Willendorf. Gerhard Weber and his team from the University of Vienna have now found out with the help of high-resolution tomographic images that the material from which the Venus was carved likely comes from northern Italy, at Lake Garda, about 700 km away.

Last updated Monday 26 December 2022

dagger Iron smelting was unknown in Egypt 3 400 years ago, yet a dagger from the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun has been positively identified as having an iron blade made from metal extracted from a meteorite. It may have been a gift from Tušratta, king of Mitanni to Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who passed it on to his son, Akhenaten, who in turn passed it on to Tutankhamun.

Last updated Sunday 06 March 2022

La Micoque ToolsMicoque tools - La Micoque is a Neanderthal site in the Dordogne dating from circa 400 000 BP to 130 000 BP. A number of tools have been added to the page.

Last updated Friday 25 February 2022

le MoustierLe Moustier is the type site for the Mousterian suite of tools and artefacts, and is a Neanderthal site. It is of interest primarily to those specialising in le Moustier and the lithic industry of the Mousterian. Several tools from Le Moustier have been added to this page.

Last updated Sunday 14 August 2022

La QuinaLa Quina is a Neanderthal site located in the Charente region of south-western France. The artisans of the La Quina Mousterian industry type (thick asymmetric tools transformed many times) had a particular way of life: they were hunters specialising in the hunt for Reindeer or Bison, and they moved following the herds. Several tools from La Quina have been added to this page.

Last updated Thursday 11 August 2022

abrifontalesentree2rect Fontalès is a rock shelter and prehistoric site of the Magdalenian, which is in the commune of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val , in Tarn-et-Garonne. It was excavated in 1865 by Victor Brun, then from 1936 to 1960 by Paul Darasse. The site has yielded a stratigraphic sequence comprising several levels of occupation dating from the Upper Magdalenian.

Last updated Saturday 19 February 2022

saintfront La Grande Grotte de Saint-Front is a little over a kilometre upstream from Domme, on the left bank of the Dordogne. Also known as La Grotte du Mammouth, it contains a number of engravings and sculptures, including a superb Mammoth on a high ceiling.

Last updated Sunday 13 February 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 historyNubia 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 December 2022

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 Tuesday 03 January 2023

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

Last updated Friday 03 June 2022

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 Friday 03 June 2022

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 Friday 03 June 2022

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

Last updated Tuesday 28 June 2022

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 Tuesday 20 December 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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