Edited by J.C.TURNER and P VAN DE GRIEND, Published by World Scientific. 1995

From Part I. Prehistory and Antiquity (Page 8)

`At Terra Amata, near Nice, there are 10 sites with stones and post holes presumably outlining dwellings, with occupational litter and hearths inside, dated at around 380 000 years ago. The poles may have been covered with skins or thatch; cordage may have been used to stabilise the structure or fasten the covering.

Cordage is also likely to have been used for suspending perforated objects. Beads or pendants begin around 300 000 years ago, the two oldest known specimens having been excavated in an Austrian cave, the Repolusthöhle. One is a nicely drilled wolf incisor, the other is a triangular, flaked bone point, perforated at the base (as seen in the picture in Knots and Links).

Spherical stones occur frequently in Lower Palaeolithic occupation sites up to at least 500 000 years old, in both Africa and China. They are usually from 6 to 12 cm in diameter, and it has been suggested that they may have been used as bola weights in hunting. If that were correct, it would undeniably prove the use of both cordage and knots, indeed probably some sort of bag or netting to hold the stones as well.'

This book gives a good coverage of many facets of the History and Science of Knots.


©Mathematics and Knots/Edition Limitee 1996
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