May 28, 2024

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A 13,000-year-old bell was discovered in America

A 13,000-year-old bell was discovered in America

The tubular bells were made from the bones of the unfortunate rabbit and are the oldest known bells found in the United States.

Archaeologists in the US state of Wyoming discovered this bell. They found the bell at a prehistoric site where the remains of a young mammoth killed by hunters were also found. Archaeologists have previously found traces of a prehistoric camp, which appears to have been inhabited during the mammoth massacre.

Ancient bell
The bead found by the researchers at the same site is about 7 millimeters long and has a large opening of 1.6 millimeters. Research shows that this bell is about 12,940 years old. These are the oldest bells found in the Americas to date, the researchers conclude in the journal Scientific reports.

The researchers also looked at the composition of the bead, which revealed that it was made from a rabbit bone. According to the researchers, the beads are — at least for now — the oldest evidence that rabbits were already used during the so-called Clovis culture (see box).

The Clovis Culture
The 'Clovis culture' refers to the large game hunters discovered in the Americas from 11,500 BC. The culture is named after the city of Clovis (in New Mexico), where the first remains of this culture—including the long spearheads characteristic of the Clovis culture—were discovered. The Clovis culture has long been considered the oldest Native American culture, but there are strong indications that the Americas were already populated thousands of years before the Clovis culture.

In their study, archaeologists firmly concluded that the bells were made by people – the Clovis people. Of course, they also considered other options; In theory, bells could arise after consumption and digestion by a carnivore. But researchers think this is unlikely. They indicate that around 13,000 years ago, some meat-eaters lived in the area where the kraal was recovered. Also, the bell was found about a meter away from remains clearly left by humans. Grooves on the outside of the bell also indicate human processing; Using stone tools or their own teeth.

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Everything indicates that people were already struggling to make bells 13,000 years ago. Researchers say they may have used them to decorate their bodies or clothes.