14,000-Year-Old Skull Drinking Cups Unearthed

Posted by on February 16th, 2011

Archaeologists working in Gough’s Cave in Somerset, UK have unearthed three human skulls used as cups, and at 14,700-years-old they are some of the oldest known examples in the world. Much care went into their construction:

“The cut-marks and dents show how the heads were scrupulously cleaned of any soft tissues shortly after death,” says Silvio Bello from London’s┬áNatural History Museum. Later, the face bones and the base of the skull would have been removed, before the cranial vaults were meticulously shaped into cups by retouching broken edges. “All in all,” says Bello, “it was a very painstaking process given the tools available.”

[New Scientist]

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