Stone Age Pebble Holds Mysterious Meaning
A colorful pebble bearing a sequence of linear incisions may be the world's oldest engraving.
The object, which will be described in the April issue of the Journal of Archaeology, dates back approximately 100,000 years ago and could also be the world’s oldest known abstract art. It was recovered from Klasies River Cave in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
“Associated human remains indicate that the engraved piece was certainly made by Homo sapiens,” co-author Riaan Rifkin of the University of Witwatersrand’s Institute for Human Evolution told Discovery News.
Rifkin and colleagues Francesco d’Errico and Renata Garcia Moreno performed extensive non-invasive analyses of the object. Methods like X-ray fluorescence and microscopic analysis enabled the researchers to examine every minute detail of the ochre pebble, which appears to have split off from a once larger piece....
comments powered by Disqus
- Harvard's Steven Shapin Wins History of Science Award
- Middle East Studies Association Fights a Rising Tide of Critics
- Juan Cole says the postwar Middle East governments were modeled on the Soviet Union, though not communist (interview)
- Ted Widmer picks the 5 best presidential books worth reading
- AHA backs California's LGBT History law