World’s earliest JEWELLERY is discovered: 150,000-year-old shell beads found in a Moroccan cave were likely worn as earrings or strung on a necklace 

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  • Between 2014 and 2018 33 pearls were discovered in a cave in Morocco
  • Researchers find they are between 142,000 and 150,000 years old
  • This makes them the earliest known examples of jewelery ever discovered.
  • Sea snail shell beads had small holes and were worn as either necklaces or earrings and used as a form of nonverbal communication

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Archaeologists have found the world’s oldest known jewelry, which they say may have been worn as earrings or necklaces as old as 150,000 years.

A set of 33 shell beads were discovered between 2014 and 2018 at the mouth of Bizmoune Cave, about 10 miles from Essaouira, a city on Morocco’s Atlantic coast.

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The beads date back to between 142,000 and 150,000 years ago and were found by a team including anthropologists from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Lead author, Steven L. Kuhn said this is the earliest known evidence of a form of nonverbal human communication and clues to the origins of our cognitive skills.

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This suggests that the human practice of speaking about oneself through ornaments and other ornamentation began much earlier than previously thought.

Archaeologists have found the world’s oldest known jewelry, which says 150,000-year-old pearls may have been worn as earrings or on necklaces.

Bizmoun Cave in Morocco

Bizmoune Cave is located on the south-facing slopes of Jebel Hadid in south-western Morocco.

It is located approximately 10 miles northeast of the modern city of Essaouira.

The cave was first identified as a Palaeolithic site in 2008.

It contains unique information about the Atarian people and how they adapted to western North Africa.

Bizmoune is an open plan, south-eastern cavern on the northern slopes of a small, seasonal aqueduct.

There is striking diversity in evolutionary trajectories in Africa and Eurasia between 200,000 and 30,000 years ago, Kuhn wrote in 2015.

‘North Africa was home to a distinct population of humans as well as a unique archaeological complex.’

The discovery is the world’s oldest example of jewelry in the form of sea snail shell beads used in necklaces or worn as earrings.

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Kuhn and his colleagues say that pearls are the earliest known evidence of a widespread form of nonverbal human communication.

He added: ‘They were probably part of the way people expressed their identity with their clothes,’ and ‘are the tip of the iceberg for those kinds of human qualities.’

‘They show that it also existed hundreds of thousands of years ago, and that humans were more interested in communicating with larger groups of people than their close friends and family.’

This is something that humans still do today, according to Kuhn, who said that it involved not only ornaments, but could be something as simple as honking a car horn.

Kuhn said, ‘You think about how society works – someone is tailing you in traffic, blowing their horn and turning on their lights, and you think, ‘What’s your problem?'” Kuhn said. said.

‘But if you see they’re wearing blue uniforms and pointy hats, you realize it’s a police officer pulling you over.’

The pearls uncovered by Kuhn and his colleagues were made from sea snail shells, and each measure about half an inch long.

Kuhn said that the holes in the center of the beads, as well as other signs of wear and tear, indicate that they were hung on wire or from clothing.

Pearls are like many others found throughout northern and southern Africa, but previous examples are no more than 130,000 years old.

The ancient pearls of North Africa belong to the Eterean, a Middle Stone Age culture known for its distinctive stemmed spear points, whose people hunted gazelles, wildebeest, warthogs, and rhinoceros, among other animals.

The pearls serve as potential clues for anthropologists studying the evolution of human cognition and communication.

Researchers have long been interested in the appearance of language. But there was no physical record of language until a few thousand years ago, when humans began to write things down.

According to Kuhn, pearls are essentially a fossilized form of basic communication that, while we don’t know what they mean, they are clearly symbolic objects that other people can see in them.

Lead author, Steven L.  Kuhn said this is the earliest known evidence of a form of nonverbal human communication and clues to the origins of our cognitive skills.

Lead author, Steven L. Kuhn said this is the earliest known evidence of a form of nonverbal human communication and clues to the origins of our cognitive skills.

Lead author, Steven L.  Kuhn said this is the earliest known evidence of a form of nonverbal human communication and clues to the origins of our cognitive skills.  stock image

Lead author, Steven L. Kuhn said this is the earliest known evidence of a form of nonverbal human communication and clues to the origins of our cognitive skills. stock image

Eterean people

The Aterians are a Middle Stone Age group, noted by their stone tool industry found in North Africa.

The earliest Etrian findings date back 150,000 years to the site of Ifri n’Ammar in Morocco.

The earliest dated items cluster around the beginning of the last interglacial period, between 150,000 and 130,000 years ago.

This is when the environment of North Africa began to improve

They disappeared about 20,000 years ago.

They are notable for their tactile or pedunculated tools.

Items worn by this group of people, including shell beads, have been found in many places. The oldest is 150,000 years old.

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Pearls are also notable for their enduring form – something physical to study.

Instead of painting their bodies or faces with ocher or charcoal, as many did, the makers of the beads made something more permanent, Kuhn said, adding that the message they wanted to convey was a permanent and important one.

In many ways, beads raise more questions than they answer. Kuhn said he and his colleagues are now interested in knowing why the Eterean people felt the need to make pearls.

They are exploring several possible explanations. One, Kuhn said, involves a growing population; As more people started…

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