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Discovery of the earliest drawing
#1
Discovery of the earliest drawing
Date:
September 12, 2018
Source:
CNRS
Summary:
The oldest known abstract drawing has been found in South Africa's Blombos Cave -- on the face of a flake of siliceous rock retrieved from archaeological strata dated to 73,000 years before the present. The work is at least 30,000 years older than the earliest previously known abstract and figurative drawings.

[Image: 180912133531_1_540x360.jpg]
This silcrete flake displays a drawing made up of nine lines traced on one of its faces with an ocher implement.
Credit: D'Errico/Henshilwood/Nature

What is a symbol? This is a tough question to answer when tasked with analyzing the earliest graphic productions. What we might today interpret as figurative representations might just be an ancient doodle that had no special purpose. For a long time, archaeologists were convinced the first symbols appeared when Homo sapiens colonized areas of Europe about 40,000 years ago. However, recent archaeological discoveries in Africa, Europe, and Asia suggest the creation and use of symbols emerged much earlier.

For example, the oldest known engraving is a zigzag carved into the shell of a freshwater mussel found in Trinil (Java) within 540,000-year-old archaeological strata. And objects for personal adornment have been unearthed at several archaeological sites in Africa dating back to 70,000 to 120,000 years before the present.

In the new article, the international team that includes scientists from the PACEA (CNRS / University of Bordeaux / French Ministry of Culture) and TRACES (CNRS / University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès / French Ministry of Culture) research units describe the oldest known abstract drawing made with a piece of ocher used as a pencil. It was identified on the surface of a small piece of siliceous rock (silcrete) while analyzing stone tools collected during an excavation at Blombos Cave in South Africa*. The silcrete fragment came from a 73,000-year-old archaeological stratum and bears a crosshatched pattern made up of nine fine lines.

Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20...133531.htm
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#2
Wow, that is rather old :O

I wonder what it represents, if anything?
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