The oldest ornament in America

It is a tube-shaped bead, made of bone. It is about 12,940 years old. Where did it appear? At the La Prele Mammoth site in Wyoming. This makes it the oldest ornament in America.

How did you determine the origin of the bone bead? The team led by Professor Todd Surowell of the University of Wyoming did it. Extracted collagen for zooarchaeology using mass spectrometry, also known as ZooMS. It made it possible to obtain information about the chemical composition of the bone. It was published in Scientific Reports. It was concluded that the bead was made from a metapodial. They are the bones that join the phalanges of the fingers with the most proximal bones of the limb of a hare.

The oldest ornament in America is made of bone.
The oldest ornament in America is made of bone.

Body decoration

This find represents the first certain evidence of the use of hares during the Clovis period. It is a prehistoric era in North America, particularly prominent about 12,000 years ago. It is named after the Clovis archaeological site in New Mexico. Distinctive stone tools were discovered there.

The ornament is approximately 7 millimeters long. Its internal diameter is 1.6 millimeters on average. The artifact was recovered 1 meter from a dense scattering of other cultural materials.

The particular details of the oldest ornament in America were analyzed. The grooves on the exterior of the bead are consistent with human creation. Either with stones or with your teeth. Ornaments like this were likely used to decorate their bodies or clothing, according to a statement from the University of Wyoming.

Many other objects were previously cataloged at that site.
Many other objects were previously cataloged at that site.


Surovell also directs the Frison Institute at the University of Washington. He is an archaeologist specializing in the Paleoindian period. This is the oldest period in American archaeology. He has worked primarily in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, but also has field experience in Eurasia. He is interested in the factors that structure the archaeological record from decision making to site formation.

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