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Aborigine rock paintings of extinct animals and Neolithic wood working skills in Europe

4 October 2010

Current World Archaeology 43 October 2010 issue … in the World News section there is a report on rock art found in Arnhem Land which depicts two large flightless birds which are supposed to have become extinct in Australia around 40,000 years ago. Either the paintings are that old or science is wrong and the birds didn’t disappear until much later – possibly at the end of the Ice Age. Several other now extinct animal species are also painted on rock faces in the same general location, such as the Tasmanian Tiger (thylacine), the spiny ant eater, and a giant kangaroo.

During construction work on an airport serving Leipzig and Halle a well in Saxony was extracted from the ground in one block and transported to a laboratory for dissection and examination. This was made possible by reason the well was formed of heavy oak tmbers as a lining and held together by mortise and tenon joints and secured by wedges. It was constructed in the Early Neolithic period as tree ring analysis provided them with a date of 5102/1BC. In sediment inside the well was found emmer wheat and einkorn – as well as wild herbs, and more surprisinly henbane (poisonous and/ or hallucinogenic). At some stage the well was filled – pottery, stone and bone tools, bark containers and fragments of string and rope and other debris were used and at the top was wedged a pot, which ritually, or formally, brought an end to the well. This was a heavy domestic vessel of the Linear Pottery Culture and had clearly been broken and glued back together to be reused at some time – with pitch.

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