Archaeologists find 4,500-year-old ivory statuettes

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 09-08-2012 15:35:00 · 5 Comments

About 20 ivory statuettes estimated to be around 4,500 years old have been discovered in an archaeological dig in eastern Portugal, a first in the country, archaeologist António Valério said this week.

"This is the first time pieces with such characteristics have appeared in Portugal", Valério told Lusa News Agency, adding that similar finds had been made earlier in southern Spain.

He said the statuettes appeared to be funeral objects as they were discovered in an area of the Perdigões archaeological complex which had been used for cremations between the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age.

He dated the pieces to the middle of the third millennium BC, making them some 4,500 years old.


Dwight, an inquiring mind raises reasonable hypotesis. Walrus from the North in Southern Portugal? For goodness sake! How would that be possible?
Thus far, the ones analysed, are from African Elephant. But there are some from sperm whale in Lisbon. Interestly, the tradition of using sperm whale ivory, to produce art, existed until the end of whale hunting in the 80's.
Another hypotesis would be fossil ivory.

Dr. Karen you might see 2 pictures, 1 in each link:

by Pedro Alves from Lisbon on 11-08-2012 09:52:00

I am a frequent visitor to the Algarve and hire a car at Faro Airport to travel to Armacao .
I use the A22 from Faro to Guia passing through two tolls of 50cents and 1.50 cents the same on the return journey and at no other time do I use the motorway. The car hire companies are charging 20 euros non returnable and more if the 20 is exceeded .It is said I have to pay for the transponders my four yearly visits will cost me 80 euros of which only 16 are for tolls . I consider this is another rip off to foreign visitors and another pointer than the tolls on the motorways have not been thoroughly thought out or is it the hire car companies are cashing in . Mr L Newman

by Leslie from UK on 11-08-2012 08:58:00

Will the pieces be on display at a local, regional or national museum any time soon? Is there a museum with a comprehensive exhibit of prehistoric art & artifacts in Portugal? Usually there is a shard here and a bit of bone there in an out of the way local museum, something a farmer dug up. Interesting but not edifying.
Another inquiring mind.

by Lenis Northmore from USA on 11-08-2012 08:32:00

The article is interesting, but seeing some pictures would have been useful.

Karen Nemet-Nejat, PhD

by Karen Nemet-Nejat from USA on 11-08-2012 05:16:00

If this was ivory rather than bone where did it come from? The animal and region. Best guess is elephant from North Africa but it might have been walrus from the North. Inquiring minds would like to know.

by Dwight E. Howell from USA on 10-08-2012 10:37:00
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