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Found: A 7,300-Year-Old Fingerprint Left on a Shard of Clay

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This faint mark on this shard of clay pottery is one of the oldest human fingerprints ever discovered.

Found at an archaeological site in northern Kuwait, it’s approximately 7,300 years old, dating back to the Stone Age. At this same site, archaeologists have also discovered a town, a temple, a cemetery, and other evidence of the community that lived here thousands of years ago, says the director of Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters.

This fingerprint is the oldest found in this area of the world, but not the oldest ever discovered. Two years ago, a piece of pottery showing a fingerprint was found at a site in Turkey that’s dated back 10,000 years, and in 2004, a scan of a statue that’s at least 25,000 years old uncovered the fingerprint of a child on the clay.

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The oldest fingerprints ever found, though, weren't made by humans at all, but by Neanderthals.


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