Florida bone engraving oldest artwork in Americas

A 15-inch-long prehistoric bone fragment found near Vero Beach, Florida contains a crude engraving of a mammoth or mastodon on it. Tests so far have shown it to be genuine. If so, it appears to be “the oldest, most spectacular and rare work of art in the Americas,” wrote Dr. Barbara Purdy, emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of Florida, in a report to other scientists.

The only comparable images are found in European cave paintings, she said in an interview. The bone contains “the unmistakable incising of an ancient proboscidean (elephant),” she said. An excerpt from a recent article:

Local amateur fossil collector James Kennedy appears to have made an unprecedented archaeological discovery that might help confirm a human presence here up to 13,000 years ago.

Kennedy found the brown and tan bone two years ago and put it under his sink. About two months ago, he took it out for cleaning and spotted unusual lines. He had been considering selling it at a flea market.

Instead, he showed it to a fellow collector, William Roddenberry of Vero Beach, who was amazed. They took it to the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville for examination.

When Kennedy learned it was so historically valuable, he said, “It blew me away. I was absolutely baffled.”

Read the full article: “Bone appears to date human presence in Treasure Coast back 13,000 years

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