Photo: Craig Foster / AP
An international team of scientists discovered a cave in South Africa, the pattern of octothorpe (“lattice” or “hash”), which reaches 73 thousand years, making the symbol of the oldest sample of rock art. The value of the image remains unknown, but archaeologists suggest that it served a ritual or artistic purposes. This publication reports Science Alert.
The drawing was found in a limestone cave Blombos on the South coast of South Africa. The excavations held here since 1991, and scientists have found ancient artifacts, including jewelry made of sea shells, tools from the bones and pieces of ochre — a natural pigment, used to create drawings. The oldest cultural layer dated to 100-140 thousand years, and researchers have found stones carved with patterns. However, these geometric figures are not considered as examples of an ancient art form, as it is unknown, put the artist in them any value.
Scientists discovered in a layer dated to 73 thousand years, a fragment of silcrete (rocks formed by silica, sand and gravel) with a clear pattern of octothorpe painted with ochre. The analysis showed that this character is probably part of a larger picture.
The opening allows you to push the age of cave paintings in 30 thousand years. Although it is known that Neanderthals created cave paintings 64 thousand years ago, the researchers still found drawings made by Homo sapiens that dated to only 40 thousand years.
Video, photo All from Russia.