Evidence found for earlier date of culture

Modern culture emerged in southern Africa more than 20,000 years earlier than anthropologists had previously believed. The fist emergence of technology and art characteristic of modern culture happened about 44,000 years ago, at about the time modern humans were moving from Africa to Europe, where they soon displaced Neanderthals.

An international team of researchers said the evidence came from an archaeological site called Border Cave in the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains on the border of South Africa and Swaziland.


The cave yielded ostrich eggshell beads, bone arrowhead points, wooden digging sticks, worked pig tusks that were probably use for planing wood and notched bones used for counting.

“They adorned themselves with ostrich egg and marine shell beads, and notched bones for notational purposes.

The very thin bone points are “very good evidence” for the use of bows and arrows. Some of the bone points were apparently coated with a poison made from the castor bean.

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