Fur farming is the practice of breeding or raising certain types of animals for their fur. Fur used from animals caught in the wild is not considered farmed fur, is instead known as "wild fur". Most of the world’s farmed fur is produced by European farmers. There are 5,000 fur farms in all located across 22 countries; the EU accounts for 70 % of fox production. Denmark is the leading mink-producing country, accounting for 28% of world production. Other major producers include China, the Netherlands and the U. S. Finland is the largest United States supplier of fox pelts; the United States is a major exporter of fur skins. Major export markets include China, Russia and the EU. Exports to Asia as a share of total exports grew from 22% in 1998 to 47% in 2002. China is the largest importer of fur pelts in the world and the largest exporter of finished fur products. Fur farming is banned in Austria, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Norway. In Germany and Switzerland, the regulations for fur farming are strict, with the result that there are no fur farms.
Some other countries have a ban on fur farming of certain types of animals. Demand fell in the late 1980s and 1990s because of a number of factors, including the failure of designers to come up with exciting new lines, the efforts of animal rights campaigners. Since the turn of the millennium, sales worldwide have soared to record highs, fueled by radically new techniques for working with fur, a sharp rise in disposable income in China and Russia; this growing demand has led to the development of extensive fur farming operations in China and Poland. While wearing fur clothing in cold weather as protection goes back to the Stone Age, the source for this material came from the wild; as human populations grew, furs and hides for use in clothing came from farm stock, such as sheep, cattle and goats. The earliest records of breeding mink for fur in North America were in the 1860s. Foxes were first raised on farms for fur in Prince Edward Island in Canada in 1895; the fur trade played an important economic role in the United States.
Fur trappers explored and opened up large parts of North America, the fashion for beaver hats led to intense competition for the raw materials. Starting in the latter half of the 20th century and wearers of fur have been criticized by animal rights activists because of the perceived cruelty they believe is involved in animal trapping and because of the availability of substitutes such as synthetic fibers. Today, 80 percent of the fur clothing industry's pelts come from animals raised on farms; the rest is from animals caught in the wild. The most farmed fur-bearing animal is the mink, followed by the fox. Asiatic and Finnish raccoon and chinchilla are farmed for their fur. 64 percent of fur farms are in Northern Europe, 11 percent are in North America, the rest are dispersed throughout the world, in countries such as Argentina and Russia. Mink have been farmed for fur in the United States for 130 years. In 2010, the U. S. ranked fifth in production behind Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland. Mink breed in March and give birth to their litters in May.
Farmers vaccinate the young kits for botulism, enteritis, and, if needed, pneumonia. They are killed in December. Methods for euthanizing animals on fur farms, as on all farms, are detailed in the American Veterinary Medical Association's Report on Euthanasia, used as a guideline for state departments of agriculture which have jurisdiction over all farms raising domesticated livestock, including mink; the white mink, a northern European breed, was introduced into Canada in 1968. Most mink production in Canada occurs in Nova Scotia which, with 116 licensed farms in 2016, generated revenues of nearly $54 million by contributing 1.4 million pelts to global markets. That accounted for an average of half of all Canada's mink pelts. Production of black mink in particular has grown since 2000, with emerging markets in Russia and South Korea accounting for most of the new demand. Black mink was first bred in Nova Scotia in the late 1950s and has proven popular as a versatile colour. Most Nova Scotia product is sold in China.
The international trade in chinchilla fur goes back to the 16th century and the animal is named after the Chincha people of the Andes, who wore its soft, dense fur. By the end of the 19th century, chinchillas had become quite rare. In 1923, Mathias F. Chapman brought the eleven wild chinchillas he had captured to the U. S. for breeding. Only three of these were female. Empress Chinchilla is the breeders association for the chinchilla farmers, many of whom are based in the United States, including California. Empress Chinchilla runs a certification program for farmers. Finland is the world's leading producer of fox pelts. In the United States, fox production is about 10,000 pelts, produced in about 10 states. Wisconsin and Utah have the most mink farms in the USA. Canada produces ten to fifteen times as many fox furs as the USA; the United States banned the import and sale of products made from dog and cat fur in 2000. Italy, Denmark, Greece and Australia ban the import of domestic cat and dog fur but the sale is still quasi-legal.
In most countries, novelty items made from farmed cat and dog fur is available in the form of animal toys or as trim on garments like boots, jackets and h
The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic is a period in human prehistory distinguished by the original development of stone tools that covers c. 99% of human technological prehistory. It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools by hominins c. 3.3 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene c. 11,650 cal BP. The Paleolithic is followed in Europe by the Mesolithic, although the date of the transition varies geographically by several thousand years. During the Paleolithic, hominins grouped together in small societies such as bands, subsisted by gathering plants and fishing, hunting or scavenging wild animals; the Paleolithic is characterized by the use of knapped stone tools, although at the time humans used wood and bone tools. Other organic commodities were adapted for use including leather and vegetable fibers. About 50,000 years ago, there was a marked increase in the diversity of artifacts. In Africa, bone artifacts and the first art appear in the archaeological record; the first evidence of human fishing is noted, from artifacts in places such as Blombos cave in South Africa.
Archaeologists classify artifacts of the last 50,000 years into many different categories, such as projectile points, engraving tools, knife blades, drilling and piercing tools. Humankind evolved from early members of the genus Homo—such as Homo habilis, who used simple stone tools—into anatomically modern humans as well as behaviorally modern humans by the Upper Paleolithic. During the end of the Paleolithic the Middle or Upper Paleolithic, humans began to produce the earliest works of art and began to engage in religious and spiritual behavior such as burial and ritual; the climate during the Paleolithic consisted of a set of glacial and interglacial periods in which the climate periodically fluctuated between warm and cool temperatures. Archaeological and genetic data suggest that the source populations of Paleolithic humans survived in sparsely wooded areas and dispersed through areas of high primary productivity while avoiding dense forest cover. By c. 50,000 – c. 40,000 BP, the first humans set foot in Australia.
By c. 45,000 BP, humans lived at 61°N latitude in Europe. By c. 30,000 BP, Japan was reached, by c. 27,000 BP humans were present in Siberia, above the Arctic Circle. At the end of the Upper Paleolithic, a group of humans crossed Beringia and expanded throughout the Americas; the term "Palaeolithic" was coined by archaeologist John Lubbock in 1865. It derives from Greek: παλαιός, palaios, "old"; the Paleolithic coincides exactly with the Pleistocene epoch of geologic time, which lasted from 2.6 million years ago to about 12,000 years ago. This epoch experienced important climatic changes that affected human societies. During the preceding Pliocene, continents had continued to drift from as far as 250 km from their present locations to positions only 70 km from their current location. South America became linked to North America through the Isthmus of Panama, bringing a nearly complete end to South America's distinctive marsupial fauna; the formation of the isthmus had major consequences on global temperatures, because warm equatorial ocean currents were cut off, the cold Arctic and Antarctic waters lowered temperatures in the now-isolated Atlantic Ocean.
Most of Central America formed during the Pliocene to connect the continents of North and South America, allowing fauna from these continents to leave their native habitats and colonize new areas. Africa's collision with Asia created the Mediterranean, cutting off the remnants of the Tethys Ocean. During the Pleistocene, the modern continents were at their present positions. Climates during the Pliocene became cooler and drier, seasonal, similar to modern climates. Ice sheets grew on Antarctica; the formation of an Arctic ice cap around 3 million years ago is signaled by an abrupt shift in oxygen isotope ratios and ice-rafted cobbles in the North Atlantic and North Pacific Ocean beds. Mid-latitude glaciation began before the end of the epoch; the global cooling that occurred during the Pliocene may have spurred on the disappearance of forests and the spread of grasslands and savannas. The Pleistocene climate was characterized by repeated glacial cycles during which continental glaciers pushed to the 40th parallel in some places.
Four major glacial events have been identified, as well as many minor intervening events. A major event is a general glacial excursion, termed a "glacial". Glacials are separated by "interglacials". During a glacial, the glacier experiences minor retreats; the minor excursion is a "stadial". Each glacial advance tied up huge volumes of water in continental ice sheets 1,500–3,000 m deep, resulting in temporary sea level drops of 100 m or more over the entire surface of the Earth. During interglacial times, such as at present, drowned coastlines were common, mitigated by isostatic or other emergent motion of some regions; the effects of glaciation were global. Antarctica was ice-bound throughout the preceding Pliocene; the Andes were covered in the south by the Patagonian ice cap. There were glaciers in New Tasmania; the now decaying glaciers of Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ruwenzori Range in east and central Africa were larger. Glaciers existed to the west in the Atlas mountains. In the northern hemisphere, many glaciers fused into one.
Sumer is the earliest known civilization in the historical region of southern Mesopotamia, modern-day southern Iraq, during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze ages, one of the first civilizations in the world along with Ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley. Living along the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, Sumerian farmers were able to grow an abundance of grain and other crops, the surplus of which enabled them to settle in one place. Prehistoric proto-writing dates back before 3000 BC; the earliest texts, from c. 3300 BC, come from the cities of Jemdet Nasr. Modern historians have suggested that Sumer was first permanently settled between c. 5500 and 4000 BC by a West Asian people who spoke the Sumerian language, an agglutinative language isolate. These prehistoric people are now called "proto-Euphrateans" or "Ubaidians", are theorized to have evolved from the Samarra culture of northern Mesopotamia; the Ubaidians, though never mentioned by the Sumerians themselves, are assumed by modern-day scholars to have been the first civilizing force in Sumer.
They drained the marshes for agriculture, developed trade, established industries, including weaving, metalwork and pottery. Some scholars contest the idea of a Proto-Euphratean language or one substrate language. Reliable historical records begin much later. Juris Zarins believes the Sumerians lived along the coast of Eastern Arabia, today's Persian Gulf region, before it was flooded at the end of the Ice Age. Sumerian civilization took form in the Uruk period, continuing into the Jemdet Nasr and Early Dynastic periods. During the 3rd millennium BC, a close cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians, who spoke a language isolate, Akkadians, which gave rise to widespread bilingualism; the influence of Sumerian on Akkadian is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a massive scale, to syntactic and phonological convergence. This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the 3rd millennium BC as a Sprachbund. Sumer was conquered by the Semitic-speaking kings of the Akkadian Empire around 2270 BC, but Sumerian continued as a sacred language.
Native Sumerian rule re-emerged for about a century in the Third Dynasty of Ur at 2100–2000 BC, but the Akkadian language remained in use. The Sumerian city of Eridu, on the coast of the Persian Gulf, is considered to have been one of the oldest cities, where three separate cultures may have fused: that of peasant Ubaidian farmers, living in mud-brick huts and practicing irrigation; the term Sumerian is the common name given to the ancient non-Semitic-speaking inhabitants of Mesopotamia by the East Semitic-speaking Akkadians. The Sumerians referred to themselves as ùĝ saĝ gíg ga, phonetically /uŋ saŋ ɡi ɡa/ meaning "the black-headed people", to their land as ki-en-gi, meaning "place of the noble lords"; the Akkadian word Shumer may represent the geographical name in dialect, but the phonological development leading to the Akkadian term šumerû is uncertain. Hebrew Shinar, Egyptian Sngr, Hittite Šanhar, all referring to southern Mesopotamia, could be western variants of Shumer. In the late 4th millennium BC, Sumer was divided into many independent city-states, which were divided by canals and boundary stones.
Each was centered on a temple dedicated to the particular patron god or goddess of the city and ruled over by a priestly governor or by a king, intimately tied to the city's religious rites. The five "first" cities, said to have exercised pre-dynastic kingship "before the flood": Eridu Bad-tibira Larsa Sippar Shuruppak Other principal cities: Minor cities: Kuara Zabala Kisurra Marad Dilbat Borsippa Kutha Der Eshnunna Nagar 2 Apart from Mari, which lies full 330 kilometres north-west of Agade, but, credited in the king list as having "exercised kingship" in the Early Dynastic II period, Nagar, an outpost, these cities are all in the Euphrates-Tigris alluvial plain, south of Baghdad in what are now the Bābil, Diyala, Wāsit, Dhi Qar, Basra, Al-Muthannā and Al-Qādisiyyah governorates of Iraq; the Sumerian city-states rose to power during the prehistoric Uruk periods. Sumerian written history reaches back to the 27th century BC and before, but the historical record remains obscure until the Early Dynastic III period, c. the 23rd century BC, when a now deciphered syllabary writing system was developed, which has allowed archaeologists to read contemporary records and inscriptions.
Classical Sumer ends with the rise of the Akkadian Empire in the 23rd century BC. Following the Gutian period, there was a brief Sumerian Renaissance in the 21st century BC, cut short in the 20th century BC by invasions by the Amorites; the Amorite "dynasty of Isin"
The brain is an organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals. The brain is located in the head close to the sensory organs for senses such as vision; the brain is the most complex organ in a vertebrate's body. In a human, the cerebral cortex contains 14–16 billion neurons, the estimated number of neurons in the cerebellum is 55–70 billion; each neuron is connected by synapses to several thousand other neurons. These neurons communicate with one another by means of long protoplasmic fibers called axons, which carry trains of signal pulses called action potentials to distant parts of the brain or body targeting specific recipient cells. Physiologically, the function of the brain is to exert centralized control over the other organs of the body; the brain acts on the rest of the body both by generating patterns of muscle activity and by driving the secretion of chemicals called hormones. This centralized control allows coordinated responses to changes in the environment.
Some basic types of responsiveness such as reflexes can be mediated by the spinal cord or peripheral ganglia, but sophisticated purposeful control of behavior based on complex sensory input requires the information integrating capabilities of a centralized brain. The operations of individual brain cells are now understood in considerable detail but the way they cooperate in ensembles of millions is yet to be solved. Recent models in modern neuroscience treat the brain as a biological computer different in mechanism from an electronic computer, but similar in the sense that it acquires information from the surrounding world, stores it, processes it in a variety of ways; this article compares the properties of brains across the entire range of animal species, with the greatest attention to vertebrates. It deals with the human brain insofar; the ways in which the human brain differs from other brains are covered in the human brain article. Several topics that might be covered here are instead covered there because much more can be said about them in a human context.
The most important is brain disease and the effects of brain damage, that are covered in the human brain article. The shape and size of the brain varies between species, identifying common features is difficult. There are a number of principles of brain architecture that apply across a wide range of species; some aspects of brain structure are common to the entire range of animal species. The simplest way to gain information about brain anatomy is by visual inspection, but many more sophisticated techniques have been developed. Brain tissue in its natural state is too soft to work with, but it can be hardened by immersion in alcohol or other fixatives, sliced apart for examination of the interior. Visually, the interior of the brain consists of areas of so-called grey matter, with a dark color, separated by areas of white matter, with a lighter color. Further information can be gained by staining slices of brain tissue with a variety of chemicals that bring out areas where specific types of molecules are present in high concentrations.
It is possible to examine the microstructure of brain tissue using a microscope, to trace the pattern of connections from one brain area to another. The brains of all species are composed of two broad classes of cells: neurons and glial cells. Glial cells come in several types, perform a number of critical functions, including structural support, metabolic support and guidance of development. Neurons, are considered the most important cells in the brain; the property that makes neurons unique is their ability to send signals to specific target cells over long distances. They send these signals by means of an axon, a thin protoplasmic fiber that extends from the cell body and projects with numerous branches, to other areas, sometimes nearby, sometimes in distant parts of the brain or body; the length of an axon can be extraordinary: for example, if a pyramidal cell of the cerebral cortex were magnified so that its cell body became the size of a human body, its axon magnified, would become a cable a few centimeters in diameter, extending more than a kilometer.
These axons transmit signals in the form of electrochemical pulses called action potentials, which last less than a thousandth of a second and travel along the axon at speeds of 1–100 meters per second. Some neurons emit action potentials at rates of 10–100 per second in irregular patterns. Axons transmit signals to other neurons by means of specialized junctions called synapses. A single axon may make as many as several thousand synaptic connections with other cells; when an action potential, traveling along an axon, arrives at a synapse, it causes a chemical called a neurotransmitter to be released. The neurotransmitter binds to receptor molecules in the membrane of the target cell. Synapses are the key functional elements of the brain; the essential function of the brain is cell-to-cell communication, synapses are the points at which communication occurs. The human brain has been estimated to contain 100 trillion synapses; the functions of these synapses are diverse: some are excitatory.
Clothing is a collective term for items worn on the body. Clothing can be made of animal skin, or other thin sheets of materials put together; the wearing of clothing is restricted to human beings and is a feature of all human societies. The amount and type of clothing worn depend on body type and geographic considerations; some clothing can be gender-specific. Physically, clothing serves many purposes: it can serve as protection from the elements and can enhance safety during hazardous activities such as hiking and cooking, it protects the wearer from rough surfaces, rash-causing plants, insect bites, splinters and prickles by providing a barrier between the skin and the environment. Clothes can insulate against cold or hot conditions, they can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body. Clothing provides protection from ultraviolet radiation. Wearing clothes is a social norm, being deprived of clothing in front of others may be embarrassing, or not wearing clothes in public such that genitals, breasts or buttocks are visible could be seen as indecent exposure.
There is no easy way to determine when clothing was first developed, but some information has been inferred by studying lice which estimates the introduction of clothing at 42,000–72,000 years ago. The most obvious function of clothing is to improve the comfort of the wearer, by protecting the wearer from the elements. In hot climates, clothing provides protection from sunburn or wind damage, while in cold climates its thermal insulation properties are more important. Shelter reduces the functional need for clothing. For example, hats and other outer layers are removed when entering a warm home if one is living or sleeping there. Clothing has seasonal and regional aspects, so that thinner materials and fewer layers of clothing are worn in warmer regions and seasons than in colder ones. Clothing performs a range of social and cultural functions, such as individual and gender differentiation, social status. In many societies, norms about clothing reflect standards of modesty, religion and social status.
Clothing may function as a form of adornment and an expression of personal taste or style. Clothing can be and has in the past been made from a wide variety of materials. Materials have ranged from leather and furs to woven materials, to elaborate and exotic natural and synthetic fabrics. Not all body coverings are regarded as clothing. Articles carried rather than worn, worn on a single part of the body and removed, worn purely for adornment, or those that serve a function other than protection, are considered accessories rather than clothing, except for shoes. Clothing protects against many things. Clothes protect people from the elements, including rain, snow and other weather, as well as from the sun. However, clothing, too sheer, small, etc. offers less protection. Appropriate clothes can reduce risk during activities such as work or sport; some clothing protects from specific hazards, such as insects, noxious chemicals, weather and contact with abrasive substances. Conversely, clothing may protect the environment from the clothing wearer: for instance doctors wear medical scrubs.
Humans have been ingenious in devising clothing solutions to environmental or other hazards: such as space suits, air conditioned clothing, diving suits, bee-keeper gear, motorcycle leathers, high-visibility clothing, other pieces of protective clothing. Meanwhile, the distinction between clothing and protective equipment is not always clear-cut, since clothes designed to be fashionable have protective value and clothes designed for function consider fashion in their design; the choice of clothes has social implications. They cover parts of the body that social norms require to be covered, act as a form of adornment, serve other social purposes. Someone who lacks the means to procure reasonable clothing due to poverty or affordability, or lack of inclination, is sometimes said to be scruffy, ragged, or shabby. Serious books on clothing and its functions appear from the 19th century as imperialists dealt with new environments such as India and the tropics; some scientific research into the multiple functions of clothing in the first half of the 20th century, with publications such as J.
C. Flügel's Psychology of Clothes in 1930, Newburgh's seminal Physiology of Heat Regulation and The Science of Clothing in 1949. By 1968, the field of environmental physiology had advanced and expanded but the science of clothing in relation to environmental physiology had changed little. There has since been considerable research, the knowledge base has grown but the main concepts remain unchanged, indeed Newburgh's book is still cited by contemporary authors, including those attempting to develop thermoregulatory models of clothing development. In most cultures, gender differentiation of clothing is considered appropriate; the differences are in styles and fabrics. In Western societies, skirts and high-heeled shoes are seen as women's clothing, while neckties are seen as men's clothing. Trousers were once seen as male clothing, but can nowadays be worn by both genders. Male clothes are more practical, but a wider range of clothing styles are available for females. Males are allowed to bare their chests in a greater variety of public places.
Boiled leather referred to by its French translation, cuir bouilli, was a historical material for various uses common in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. It was leather, treated so that it became tough and rigid, as well as able to hold moulded decoration, it was the usual material for the robust carrying-cases that were made for important pieces of metalwork, instruments such as astrolabes, personal sets of cutlery, books and the like. It was used for some armour, being both much cheaper and much lighter than plate armour, but could not withstand a direct blow from a blade, nor a gunshot. Alternative names are "moulded leather" and "hardened leather". In the course of making the material it becomes soft, can be impressed into a mould to give it the desired shape and decoration, which most surviving examples have. Pieces such as chests and coffers usually have a wooden inner core. Various recipes for making cuir bouilli survive, do not agree with each other. Vegetable-tanned leather is specified.
Scholars have attempted to recreate the historical material. Many, but not all, sources agree that actual boiling of the leather was not part of the process, but immersion in water, cold or hot, was. Cuir bouilli was used for cheap and light armour, although it was much less effective than plate armour, expensive and too heavy for much to be worn by infantry. However, cuir bouilli could be reinforced against slashing blows by the addition of metal bands or strips in helmets. Modern experiments on simple cuir bouilli have shown that it can reduce the depth of an arrow wound especially if coated with a crushed mineral facing mixed with glue, as one medieval Arab author recommended. In addition, "armour based on hide has the unique advantage that it can, in extremis, provide some nutrition", when boiled. Josephus records that the Jewish defenders in the Siege of Jerusalem in AD 70 were reduced to eating their shields and other leather kit, as was the Spanish expedition of Tristan de Luna in 1559.
Versions of cuir bouilli were used since ancient times for shields, in many parts of the world. Although in general leather does not survive long burial, excavated archaeological evidence for it is rare, an Irish shield of cuir bouilli with wooden formers, deposited in a peat bog, has survived for some 2,500 years, it was used in the Western world for helmets. As leather does not conduct heat the way metal does, firemen continued to use boiled leather helmets until WW2, the invention of strong plastics; the word cuirass for a breastplate indicates that these were made of leather. In the Late Middle Ages, the heyday of plate armour, cuir bouilli continued to be used by the rich for horse armour and for tournament armour, as well as by ordinary infantry soldiers. Tournaments were regulated in order to reduce the risk to life, in 1278 Edward I of England organized one in Windsor Great Park at which cuir bouilli armour was worn, the king provided swords made of whale bone and parchment; the account of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 by Jean de Wavrin, present on the French side, describes the crucial force of English longbowmen as having on their heads either cuir bouilli helmets, or wicker with iron strips, or nothing.
A few pieces of Roman horse armour in cuir bouilli have been excavated. Evidence from documents such as inventories show that it was common in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, used by the highest ranks, but survivals are few. In 1547 the Master of Armoury in the Tower of London ordered 46 sets of bards and crinets in preparation for the final invasion of Scotland in the war known as the Rough Wooing. In September that year the English cavalry were crucial in the decisive victory at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh; the German Count Palatine of the Rhine had six sets of cuir bouilli horse armour for his and his family's use in the 16th century. The shaffron for the horse's head would be in steel, though leather ones are known. Cuir bouilli was very common for scabbards; however surviving specimens of leather armour are rare, more so than the various types of civilian containers. It is believed that many leather pieces are depicted in sculpted tomb monuments, where they are more decorated than metal pieces would have been.
Cuir bouilli was often used for elaborate figurative crests on some helmets. The material is mentioned in Froissart's Chronicles of the Hundred Years' War, Geoffrey Chaucer, in his Canterbury Tales, written in the late 1300s, says of the knight Sir Thopas:; the large decorative crests that came to top some helmets in the late Middle Ages were made of cuir bouilli, as is the famous example belonging to the Black Prince and hung with other "achievements" over his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral. His wooden shield has the heraldic animals appliqued in cuir bouilli; as well as the crests on helmets described above, cuir bouilli was used sculpturally in various contexts, over a wood or plaster framework where necessary. When Henry V of England died in France, his effigy in cuir bouilli was placed on top of his coffin for the journey back to England. A near life-size crucifix in the Vatican Museums is in cuir bouilli over wood; this is of special interest to art historians because it was made in 1540 as a replica of a crucifix in silver presented by Charlemagne some 740 years before.
The Aurignacian is an archaeological tradition of the Upper Palaeolithic associated with European early modern humans. It is thought to have originated from the earlier Levantine Ahmarian culture. An Early Aurignacian or Proto-Aurignacian stage is dated between about 43,000 and 37,000 years ago; the Aurignacian proper lasts from about 37,000 to 33,000 years ago. A Late Aurignacian phase transitional with the Gravettian dates to about 33,000 to 26,000 years ago; the type site is Haute-Garonne, south-west France. One of the oldest examples of figurative art, the Venus of Hohle Fels, comes from the Aurignacian and is dated to between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago, it was discovered in September 2008 in a cave at Schelklingen in Baden-Württemberg in western Germany. The German Lion-man figure is given a similar date range; the Bacho Kiro site in Bulgaria is one of the earliest known Aurignacian burials. The Aurignacian tool industry is characterized by worked bone or antler points with grooves cut in the bottom.
Their flint tools include fine blades and bladelets struck from prepared cores rather than using crude flakes. The people of this culture produced some of the earliest known cave art, such as the animal engravings at Trois Freres and the paintings at Chauvet cave in southern France, they made pendants and ivory beads, as well as three-dimensional figurines. Perforated rods, thought to be spear throwers or shaft wrenches are found at their sites; the sophistication and self-awareness demonstrated in the work led archaeologists to consider the makers of Aurignacian artifacts the first modern humans in Europe. Human Late Aurignacian artifacts found in juxtaposition support this inference. Although finds of human skeletal remains in direct association with Proto-Aurignacian technologies are scarce in Europe, the few available are probably modern human; the best dated association between Aurignacian industries and human remains are those of at least five individuals from the Mladeč caves in the Czech Republic, dated by direct radiocarbon measurements of the skeletal remains to at least 31,000–32,000 years old.
At least three robust, but anatomically-modern individuals from the Peștera cu Oase cave in Romania, were dated directly from the bones to ca. 35,000–36,000 BP. Although not associated directly with archaeological material, these finds are within the chronological and geographical range of the Early Aurignacian in southeastern Europe. On genetic evidence it has been argued that both Aurignacian and the Dabba culture of North Africa came from an earlier big game hunting Aurignacian culture of the Levant. Aurignacian figurines have been found depicting faunal representations of the time period associated with now-extinct mammals, including mammoths and tarpan, along with anthropomorphized depictions that may be interpreted as some of the earliest evidence of religion. Many 35,000-year-old animal figurines were discovered in the Vogelherd Cave in Germany. One of the horses, amongst six tiny mammoth and horse ivory figures found at Vogelherd, was sculpted as skillfully as any piece found throughout the Upper Paleolithic.
The production of ivory beads for body ornamentation was important during the Aurignacian. The famous paintings in Chauvet cave date from this period. Typical statuettes consist of women, they emphasize the hips and other body parts associated with fertility. Feet and arms are minimized. One of the most ancient figurines was discovered in 2008 in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany; the figurine has been dated to 35,000 years ago. Aurignacian finds include bone flutes; the oldest undisputed musical instrument was the Hohle Fels Flute discovered in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany's Swabian Alb in 2008. The flute is made from a vulture's wing bone perforated with five finger holes, dates to 35,000 years ago. A flute was found at the Abri Blanchard in southwestern France. Stone tools from the Aurignacian culture are known as Mode 4, characterized by blades from prepared cores. Seen throughout the Upper Paleolithic is a greater degree of tool standardization and the use of bone and antler for tools. Based on the research of scraper reduction and paleoenvironment, the early Aurignacian group moved seasonally over greater distance to procure reindeer herds within cold and open environment than those of the earlier tool cultures.
Lebanon/Palestine/Israel region Contained within an atratigraphic column, along with other cultures. Siberia Many sites in Siberia including around Lake Baikal, the Ob River valley, Minusinsk. Cave of Aurignac Ksar Akil Venus figurines Bacho Kiro cave Picture Gallery of the Paleolithic, Libor Balák at the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Archaeology in Brno, The Center for Paleolithic and Paleoethnological Research v