This is a "hashtag" prehistoric beats all the records. Dated at 73,000 years old, a cross brace formed of several traits of the color red, discovered in a cave in South Africa, is "the oldest pencil drawing" known to this day, announced on Wednesday that researchers. It precedes by at least 30 000 years the oldest of abstract designs or figurative known until now and made with the same technique, notes a study published by the journal Nature.
Excavated since 1991 by the researchers of south africa Christopher Henshilwood, first author of the study, the small cave of Blombos, located 300 kilometres to the east of the city of Cape town, has already helped to discover a series of objects made by modern humans (engravings, ornaments, bone tools, etc.).
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Among various stone tools, a piece of rock siliceous (silcrète) of 4 centimeters long attracted the attention of the team, says Francesco d'errico, director of research CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) at the university of Bordeaux. The object comes from an archaeological layer dating back 73 000 years and it focuses on one of its faces a pattern composed of nine thin intersecting lines.a Path with a pencil ochre pointy
How do you know if they have been deliberately plotted by humans? And with what? The team has conducted a series of experiments in France, to try to reproduce these features by different techniques. They then compared their production to the original design thanks to the techniques of analyses, microscopic and chemical. "Their results indicate that the lines have been deliberately drawn with a pencil of ochre with a sharp tip, on a surface previously smoothed by friction," says CNRS. The tip should be 1 to 3 millimeters wide.
This piece of rock "was part of a much bigger object, which may be a grinding wheel to produce powdered ochre", according to Francesco d'errico. "The fragment is quite small. It is an achievement to have managed to make it talk". In his eyes, the discovery of this pencil drawing is all the more "interesting" in the same archaeological layers, the team has already found braces similar engraved on pieces of ochre with spikes of stone".
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"This is the first time that we see the same type of motifs reproduced on different media, with different techniques", he says. "This reinforces the idea that these braces were really something that existed in the mind of these hunters-gatherers" and that they were not made "by chance". These signs had, without doubt, a "vocation symbolic," according to him. "But very probably they didn't regard it as an art form".
Read our complete filePrehistory: the discovery of a descendant of two human species, different from the masterpieces of the Paléoart To the bronze age, the iron tools and jewellery was of extraterrestrial origin
There are, however, engravings, reminiscent of the archaeologist Francesco d'errico, one of the authors of the publication. Thus, a "zig-zag" engraved in a shell, found in Java, is dated there are more than 540 000 years old and was probably made by Homo erectus, adds the researcher, who was involved in this other discovery, published in 2014.
Publish Date : 06 Kasım 2018 Salı 14:41
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