Strange IndiaStrange India

Dental decorations. These adornments made from the teeth of animals, including bears, elk and foxes, were crafted by Gravettian hunter-gatherers — the culture responsible for the iconic Venus of Willendorf figurine. Researchers analysed thousands of personal ornaments, along with genetic data of the people buried at the same sites. They found that the variety in jewellery styles couldn’t be explained fully by how far apart populations lived, and identified nine distinct cultural groups that existed in Europe between 34,000 and 24,000 years ago. These groups aligned mostly with the genetic data. However, the study also revealed more-nuanced patterns, indicating that culture and genetics are interconnected but not perfectly aligned.

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