Blombos (1)

General view of Blombos cave site.

Detail map of South Africa Overview map of South Africa

A: South Africa

Is this An Early Attempt to Record Information or Early Art?

Circa 75000 to 73000 BCE

Pieces of ochre rock decorated with geometric patterns found at Blombos Cave in South Africa, nearly 200 miles from Cape Town, in 2002, have been dated to the Middle Stone Age, equivalent to the European Middle Paleolithic. Pieces of ochre rock found in the cave have marks that may have been used to count or store information. A close-up look at the object shows that the markings are clearly organized. This systematic pattern suggests to some researchers that the markings represent information rather than decoration. 

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