Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsArchaeology9,000-Year-Old Necklace Redefines Neolithic Culture

9,000-Year-Old Necklace Redefines Neolithic Culture

9,000-Year-Old Neolithic Necklace
A 9,000-year-old necklace from Neolithic culture. Credit: Alarashi et al., 2023 / PLOS ONE / CC BY 4.0

The discovery of a singular, intricately designed necklace within the ancient burial site of a child in Jordan has provided new insight into the complex social dynamics of Neolithic culture.

This new revelation is featured in a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The research was conducted by Hala Alarashi, affiliated with the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Spain and the Université Côte d’Azur in France. This was in collaboration with other colleagues.

Adornments on the human body hold significant symbolic value, conveying cultural beliefs and individual identities. This is why they are of great importance when investigating ancient societies.

In this particular research led by Alarashi and her team, they examined materials that served as body adornments for an eight-year-old child buried in a grave at the Neolithic village of Ba’ja in Jordan. This village dates back to a period between 7400 and 6800 BCE, shedding light on the cultural practices of that time, according to SciTechDaily.

Neolithic Necklace contains more than 2,500 colorful stones and shells

The 9,000-year-old necklace includes more than 2,500 colorful stones and shells, as well as two remarkably rare amber beads, which happen to be the oldest of their kind discovered in the Levant region. Additionally, there is a sizeable stone pendant and a finely engraved mother-of-pearl ring.

By examining the composition, craftsmanship, and spatial arrangement of these elements, researchers have concluded that they once formed a single, multi-row necklace that had become disassembled over time.

As a part of this study, the team has managed to physically reconstruct the original necklace, which is now on public display at the Petra Museum in Southern Jordan, reported SciTechDaily.

The collection of marine shells in this assemblage consists of various types, including bivalves, gastropods, and scaphopod species. Specifically, these correspond to the Pinctada margaritifera, which provided the nacreous face, commonly known as “mother-of-pearl.” This is used to create the ring.

They also include small, unspecified Conus shells and a distinctive fragment of a small tusk shell from the Dentaliidae family. For the white-banded tubular beads, it was necessary to initially determine whether the material belonged to the category of stone or shell.

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) measurements conducted on one specimen revealed it shares an aragonite and calcite composition identical to that of marine shells, according to the study.

Valuable insights into the Ba’ja community

The analysis of the necklace has provided significant insight that improve our comprehension of the ritual customs and symbolic actions of the Ba’ja community. It has also highlighted artisanal skills and economic resources utilized to express these cultural practices.

Moreover, the study has unveiled a surprising degree of interconnectedness between Ba’ja and the broader world.

It indicates the community’s participation in exchange and trade networks that operated throughout the Levant during the Late PPNB (Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B) period.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts