Eighth Priestess and Precious Grave Goods Unearthed in Famous San Jose de Moro Tomb
A 50,000-year-old sewing needle made from bone has been discovered during a dig at a cave in Siberia.
Unearthed within Denisova Cave - a well known palaeontological treasure trove in the Altai Mountains - the seven-centimeter needle was created and used, not by humans, but by the Denisovans - an extinct species of human whose DNA is still carried by many of us today.
"It is the most unique find of this season, which can even be called sensational," said Professor Mikhail Shunkov. "As of today it is the most ancient needle in the word."
The bone from which the needle was crafted is believed to have come from a large bird however researchers have so far struggled to determine exactly what species of bird this might have been.
Denisova Cave itself is one of the richest sources of palaeontological finds in the world having been inhabited by our ancestors for at least 282,000 years. Other Denisova finds there, including an immaculately polished bracelet, suggest that the Denisovans were highly skilled craftsmen.