South Africa, Paint, Pots, Pigments, Archaeologists, Symbolic
Early symbolic activity. (475,000 years ago). Long before people first engraved and painted on stones and rock faces, they invested the rituals and objects of their existence with symbolic meaning.
We can see indications of care and thought that goes beyond mere functionality in the deftly reworked flaked stone tools from Middle and Late Stone Age sites. Ochre tablets bearing cross hatchings found at Blombos Cave in the southern Cape (South Africa) and dated to around 75,000 years ago are thought to be some of the earliest examples of abstract representation.
Archaeologists excavating the Blombos Cave in South Africa, have stumbled upon a hoard of art materials which include everything an ancient artist might have required to be creative.
Including Paint pots used by humans more than 100,000 years ago. Red and yellow pigments, shell containers and grinding cobbles and bone spatulas - to mix up a paste - were all present in the discovery that, researchers say, is proof that our early ancestors' were more modern than once thought.
The oldest man made structure on earth is in South Africa, it is known as Adams Calendar, and more recently as Enkis Calendar. Adams Calendar is south-west of Kruger Park. The site is estimated to be around 75,000 years old, as dated by rock art in the area. This Red Ochre Stone is engraved with what must be “tally” marks. It is one of two such stones recently found in the Blombos Cave in South Africa is 77,000 years old, making them the oldest form of recorded counting ever found. These Aboriginal Africans would later become the ancestors of the so called Grimaldis of Europe.
Newfound stone artifacts suggest humankind left Africa traveling through the Arabian Peninsula instead of hugging its coasts, as long thought, researchers say.
Modern humans first arose about 200,000 years ago in Africa. When and how our lineage then dispersed has long proven controversial, but geneticists have suggested this exodus started between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago. The currently accepted theory is that the exodus from Africa traced Arabia's shores, rather than passing through its now-arid interior.
Arabian, Peninsula , Oman, Desert, Artifacts, Archaeology
However, stone artifacts at least 100,000 years old from the Arabian Desert, revealed in January 2011, hinted that modern humans might have begun our march across the globe earlier than once suspected. Now, more-than-100 newly discovered sites in the Sultanate of Oman apparently confirm that modern humans left Africa through Arabia long before genetic evidence suggests.
Oddly, these sites are located far inland, away from the coasts."After a decade of searching in southern Arabia for some clue that might help us understand early human expansion, at long last we've found the smoking gun of their exit from Africa," said lead researcher Jeffrey Rose, a paleolithic archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in England.
"What makes this so exciting is that the answer is a scenario almost never considered." The archaeology of the Rub’ al-Khali desert in Dhofar, southern Oman, is virtually unknown.
Arabia, Oman, Africa, Objects
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The exception is a number of lithic scatters on interdunal gravels and at the edges of ancient palaeolakes recorded by geological surveyors in the early 1970s (Pullar 1974).
These assemblages have been the fodder for considerable debate.
Initially misclassified as North African Aterian (McClure 1994) and Levantine Pre-Pottery Neolithic (e.g. Dreschler 2007), recent work has shown that they belong to the ‘Nejd Leptolithic’ tradition.
A local facies dated to between c. 13 000 and 7000 years ago (Hilbert et al. 2012; Charpentier & Crassard 2013).
During winter 2012, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in Oman commissioned an expedition to Ramlat Fasad, near the modern village of al-Hashman.
In the southern Rub’ al-Khali, Governorate of Dhofar, to further assess the temporal and geographical extent of past human habitation in this region.
By 75,000 years ago stone and bone pendants, shell ornaments and ostrich shell beads were widely exchanged throughout Africa.
Included in grave goods,
suggesting that by this time people consistently used apparently valueless objects to communicate identity,
relationships and spiritual bonds.
In other words, to signal social rank, establish regional and personal
relations with others and elaborate the rites of passage.