African Cave Boasts Oldest Known Jewellery

Society | April 16, 2004, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

The earliest known jewellery, made 75 000 years ago by someone living in a cave overlooking the Indian Ocean, was found in a South African cave.

The discovery of the Stone Age beads supports the theory that traits associated with modern people, such as using symbolic items, developed early, rather than thousands of years later after humans migrated to the Middle East and Europe.

The previously oldest known human ornaments are perforated teeth and eggshell beads from Bulgaria and Turkey, 41 000 to 43 000 years old, and 40 000-year-old ostrich-shell beads from Kenya.

Uncovered in Blombos cave on the Indian Ocean shoreline in South Africa, the newly discovered beads were made from the shells of a type of mollusc. The material was dated to the Middle Stone Age.

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