100,000-year-old “art studio” and ancient tool kit discovered in South Africa

By on Oct 14, 2011 in Africa, Archaelogy, Science, World Comments

Above: Blombos Cave entrance;
Below: Abalone shell

Image Credit: Science/AP

A 100,000-year-old workshop was discovered by scientists during their excavation in 2008 at Blombos Cave in southern Cape Coast of South Africa, according to international news sites on Friday, October 14, 2011.

As noted in the reports, the team also found what is being noted to be the earliest production tool kit, which suggests that ancient humans have been interested in painting and art during those times.

The research, which was also published at journal Science that day, revealed that the ancient tool kit contains pieces of bright red pigment called ochre, grindstones, hammer stones, bone, charcoal to mix with the pigment and the shell for storage.

It is being believed that a liquefied ochre was processed at the workshop and stored in two abalone (Haliotis midae) shells.

“The conceptual ability to source, combine and store substances that enhance technology or social practices represents a benchmark in the evolution of complex human cognition,” researchers were quoted in the study published.

“The application of the mixture is unknown, but possibilities include decoration and skin protection,” they added.

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