Posts Tagged ‘beads in archaeology’

Super Old Beads Discovered in South Africa

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

More old beads have been found at Border Cave in South Africa.

While these beads are not as old as the ones found in Blombos Cave, they have been dated to 44,000 years ago. The really cool part is that they have been associated with a group of people still living in the area – the San People of the Kalahari.

The San People used to be known as Bushmen of the Kalahari, and it is believed that the San culture can be dated anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. The San may be the heirs of the original hunter-gatherer cultures of Africa.

Just think, the ancestors of the San were making ostrich egg and marine shell beads just as more recent San people did before the Europeans arrived with trade beads.

This new evidence may push the date of documented human culture back even further. Cool stuff!

San People Beads

Click on image to read LA Times Article by Thomas H. Maugh II

Source:  Research published in the online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 30, 2012. Social Sciences – Anthropology: Francesco d’Errico, Lucinda Backwell, Paola Villa, Ilaria Degano, Jeannette J. Lucejko, Marion K. Bamford, Thomas F. G. Higham, Maria Perla Colombini, and Peter B. Beaumont

by Beverly

World’s Oldest Beads

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

How old are the oldest beads?

In 2004, archaeologists found 41 tiny shells in Blombos Cave, South Africa. They were carefully pierced and showed wear marks consistent with having been suspended on a string or thread. These shell beads date to 75,000 years ago.

More recently in 2007, archaeologist Nick Barton suggested that the shell of a tiny mollusk, Nassaruis kraussianus, was made into beads as far back as 82,ooo years ago. These shell beads were found in a limestone cave in eastern Morocco. The shells were pierced, with wear marks on their holes revealing that the shells were once colored with red pigment, and that they’d been strung on a fibrous cord – all indicators that the beads were meant to be seen. A more recent finding in the same area may put the date at 110,000 years ago, but the reports have not yet been published. Stay tuned to this thread for the latest findings.

by Beverly