28 December 2010

Land snail shells adorning a skeleton

There are innumerable examples of the use of the shells of marine snails as jewelry, decoration or tools throughout human history. I have written about some examples in this post and this post.

Examples of comparable uses of land snails shells, on the other hand, are harder to come by. That is probably because most land snail shells are less prettier and much thinner, therefore, less durable than marine snail shells.

A note in the January/February 2011 issue of Archaeology mentions a skeleton from around 800 BCE found in Peru that was adorned with about 180 land snail shells. The shells visible in the picture accompanying the article are quite large. The ancient Peruvians were undoubtedly paying attention to at least the larger snails around them.

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