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October 5 2012

Ceramic Fragments Point to Artistry in the Ice Age


We know them best for their stone tools and intrepid mammoth hunting. But new discoveries in Croatia suggest that ice age humans made evocative ceramic art far more regularly than once believed.

Thirty-six fragments of fired clay, excavated in the Vela Spila cave on an island off the Adriatic coast, make up the second-largest collection found so far of the earliest human experiments with ceramic art. They are 15,000 to 17,500 years old the first European evidence of ceramic art after the ice sheets stopped spreading.

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