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     In African cave found ancient figure made by man
    on Thursday 13 September 2018
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    The age of the finds is estimated at 73 thousand years, and that means technique of creating graphic images are "aged" by almost half.

    A loud opening of South Africa: in a cave called Blombos, archaeologists found the oldest painting done by human hand. The age of the finds is estimated at 73 thousand years, and that means a technique of creating graphical images for at least 30 thousand years older than previously thought.

    The study's authors – scientists from the University of Bergen in Norway and University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. They explain that the cave Blombos is a unique place, the Holy of holies anthropologists. It was opened in 1991 and thousands of years kept a unique materials and the presence of traces of ancient Homo sapiens.

    The age of the finds previously made in the cave, is from 100 to 70 thousand years, also find more recent traces of human presence age 2000-300 years.

    The figure, who was the oldest graphic image made by man, archaeologists have discovered in 2011. It consists of nine lines: six of them are located in parallel vertically, three to cross them. The overall image resembles a modern and well-known symbol – the hashtag, or octothorp.

    It was applied to a fragment of a hard siliceous rock called silcrete. The size of the picture is quite modest: length 38.6 mm, width 12.8 mm and a height of 15.4 mm.

    "The opening was very exciting for all of us! You could say it was one of those days for which any living archaeologist" — say the authors Christopher Henshilwood (Christopher Henshilwood) and Karen van Niekerk (Karen van Niekerk).

    According to the researchers, there is no doubt that the picture is not part of the breed and was put on her intentionally. This was confirmed by numerous analyses, including the study of lines by electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy.

    It was also found that the image inflicted on the breed by using a pointed piece of ochre, similar to a pencil. The thickness of the tip ranged from one to three millimeters, and the lines were drawn with a few strokes front to back. The edges are abruptly cut off, this suggests that the figure originally covered a larger fragment species and may have been more complex.

    It is noteworthy that in the cave were found and other artifacts with drawings made with ocher, for example, shells. Moreover, the archaeologists found themselves pieces of ochre that were marked with abstract patterns.

    It remains unknown what is the meaning of the graphical symbol and whether it is part of a larger image.

    Anthropologists explain that the symbols have always been an integral part of the culture as primitive and in more developed communities and tribes. Suffice it to recall the tattoo drawings on clothing and jewelry. And yet, cave paintings and drawing of patterns on the stones are considered the oldest visualization methods are important to people characters.

    To examine this cultural aspect plays a huge role in understanding the way of life and thinking of ancient people, experts say.

    "Language, writing, mathematics, religion, laws can't exist without the typically human ability to master the creation and transmission of symbols and our ability to translate them into material culture. Significant progress has been made in understanding how our brain perceives and processes the different categories of symbols, but the knowledge of how and when the characters started to become part of the culture of our ancestors, remain imprecise", — says member of the research group Francesco d errico (Francesco d'errico).

    Yet the most obvious is the idea that the image had a ritual meaning. But it is also possible that the ancient people tried using drawings to decorate your home.

    Read more about the amazing discovery discussed in the article, which was published in the journal Nature.

    We will remind that earlier the authors of the project "Conduct.Science" ( told me about the ancient rock images of dogs and their owners. And recently in Siberia was found a unknown rock paintings of mythical monsters.

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