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The Earliest Known Forms of Human Adornment (Circa 132,000 BCE – 98,000 BCE)

Photocredit: James Di Loreto, & Donald H. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)

Nassarius shell beads found in Es SkhÅ«l, Israel are thought to be the earliest surviving forms of human adornment. Assemblages of perforated Nassarius shells, a marine species significantly different from local fauna, have been recovered from the area, suggesting that Es Skhul people may have collected and employed the shells symbolically as beads, as they are unlikely to have been used as food.