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It seems a bit like a hashtag, nevertheless it’s 73,000 years previous. And scientists say this tiny sketch present in a South African cave is the oldest identified drawing by people.

It’s not the earliest deliberate design; some summary engravings are far older. But the drawing reveals early people in southern Africa may produce designs on numerous surfaces with totally different strategies.

The assortment of crisscrossed strains was discovered within the Blombos Cave about 300 kilometres east of Cape Town. It is at the very least 30,000 years older than every other identified drawing, researchers say in a report launched Wednesday by the journal Nature.

It was created with a sharpened flake of ochre, a pigment broadly used within the historic world, mentioned Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergen in Norway.

Researchers work contained in the Blombos Cave east of Cape Town, South Africa, the place the drawing was discovered, together with different artifacts bearing related designs. (Magnus M. Haaland by way of Associated Press)

The drawing is principally six pink strains crossed by three different barely curved strains. It seems on a tiny flake of mineral crust measuring solely about 39 millimetres lengthy and about 15 millimetres tall. It’s evidently half of a bigger drawing as a result of strains reaching the sting are minimize off abruptly there, researchers mentioned.

The drawing was apparently made earlier than the flake was intentionally struck off of a grinding stone used to make ochre powder, Henshilwood mentioned in an electronic mail.

Popular motif

Similar patterns are engraved in different artifacts from the cave, and the hashtag design was produced broadly over the previous 100,000 years in rock artwork and work, he mentioned. So the newly discovered sketch might be not only a assortment of random scratchings.

“It almost certainly had some meaning to the maker, and probably formed a part of the common symbolic system understood by other people in this group,” Henshilwood mentioned.

An summary sample has been engraved on this piece of ocher discovered at Blombos Cave in the identical archaeological stratum that yielded the silcrete flake. (D’Errico/Henshilwood/Nature)

The discovering offers proof that early people may retailer data outdoors the mind and helps the argument that early members of our species “behaved essentially like us” earlier than they left Africa for Europe and Asia, he mentioned.

Silvia Bello, a researcher on the Natural History Museum in London who did not take part within the research, referred to as the discovering vital.

“It further shows how rich and complex human behaviour already was 73,000 years ago,” she mentioned in an electronic mail.

Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-09-12 13:35:37, as ‘World’s oldest identified drawing present in African cave’ on CBC RADIO-CANADA. Here is a supply hyperlink for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

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