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Kostenki 17 pendant

Pierced stone pendant, 41,000 years old

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Kostënki 17 is among the most important archaeological sites for understanding the very first modern humans in Eastern Europe. Primarily excavated by P.I. Boriskovskii in 1953 and 1955, the site's lower layer contained a rich archaeological assemblage of worked flint and bone, pendants and animal bones.

Numerous pendants were recovered from Kostënki 17, including a group of more than 40 pendants made from fox canines. In addition were pendants made from stone and fossils. Along with shell beads from the lower layers of Kostënki 14, the Kostënki 17 pendants are the earliest good evidence for personal adornment anywhere in Eastern Europe.

(Artefact housed at the Institute for the History of Material Culture [Palaeolithic Division], Saint Petersburg.)