Friday, October 14, 2011

100,000 year old paint factory in Africa

Deep in an southern African cave, researchers uncovered the remains of a paint factory that appears to date back 100,000 years. The cave artisans used stones for punding and grinding. Ocher was mixed with mammal fat and charcoal to form a red substance. The paint was then stirred and liquified in large abalone shells with a bone spatula.
Archeologists say that this workshop is one of the earliest examples yet of Homo Sapiens processing ocher, one of the first pigments in wide use. The early humans may have applied the paint to their skin for protection or decoration. Perhaps it was their way to make artisitic statements.
The finding is of special importance because it shows how early humans had begun thinking like us. Scientists call it a "benchmark in the evolution of complex human cognition."
I had never thought that a paint factory would mark the beginning of modern humanity. 

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