Skip to comments.Stone Age engraving traditions appear on ostrich eggshells [ Africa ]
Posted on 03/04/2010 7:40:48 PM PST by SunkenCiv
...researchers say a cache of ostrich eggshells engraved with geometric designs demonstrates the existence of a symbolic communication system around 60,000 years ago among African hunter-gatherers. The unusually large sample of 270 engraved eggshell fragments, mostly excavated over the past several years at Diepkloof Rock Shelter in South Africa, displays two standard design patterns, according to a team led by archaeologist Pierre-Jean Texier of the University of Bordeaux 1 in Talence, France. Each pattern enjoyed its own heyday between approximately 65,000 and 55,000 years ago, the investigators report in a paper to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers already knew that the Howiesons Poort culture, which engraved the eggshells, engaged in other symbolic practices, such as engraving designs into pieces of pigment, that were considered to have been crucial advances in human behavioral evolution. But the Diepkloof finds represent the first archaeological sample large enough to demonstrate that Stone Age people created design traditions, at least in their engravings, Texier says. Evidence of intentionally produced holes in several Diepkloof eggshells indicates that ancient people made what amounted to canteens out of them, a practice that researchers have documented among modern hunter-gatherers in southern Africa.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenews.org ...
Marks of distinction Ostrich eggshell fragments found at a rock shelter in southern Africa indicate that people living there roughly 60,000 years ago used these eggshells as water containers. In an early example of symbolic communication, the people engraved standardized geometric designs on the shells that probably indicated group identity. P.-J. Texier, Diepkloof project
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Prehistoric Easter Eggs!
Beta version of farkel game ...
Did you all look really closely at those shells?
Especially the one on the bottom right?
I mean the HARD RIGHT.
I thought I saw something else etched in there.
In the interests of science I enlarged it over and over, and then I was almost sure I spotted something.
Tell if you see something else in there, something from our long-ago past?
I see it now too!
Those ostriches were very artistic.
(This is just an excuse to bump this thread.)
They don’t seem to have come very far in 60,000 years it
seems. Clicks, pops, and Idi Amin.
I thought sure I was going to see a prehistoric Helen Thomas...
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