Early Africans in Blombos Cave were first to engage in arts 73,000 years ago

Stephen Nartey September 10, 2022
Photo Credit: Kari Janne Stenersen

Until the Blombos Cave’s archaeological findings in Cape Town, South Africa, evidence of early men’s cave art was believed to be at least 30,000 years old.

Archaeological evidence reveal early men in South Africa engaged in cave art over 73,000 years ago.

It’s a piece of yellowish-brown rock that was used to carve their environment onto a piece of stone, national geographic reported from the journal Nature.

This new evidence predates earlier known cave arts found in Indonesia and Spain which age scientific analysis places at 30,000 years.

This data presupposes that early men in Africa were interested in art and drawings and probably engaged in the craft after their hunting and gathering.

The evidence was extracted from a flake of silcrete, a mineral formed when sand and gravel become a mixture. The researchers scraped layers of half-long flakes which were made from the yellowish rock and iron that punctured colours into the rock.

The author of the findings, Christopher Henshilwood, who heads up the Center for Early Sapiens Behavior at the University of Bergen, said he found the preservation of the art absolutely perfect.

He said the team discovered the flake of stone among a deposit of artifacts that had been left by the cave dwellers in Blombos cave.

According to him, the structure of the cave suggests it was a place used for relaxation after hunting and gathering of food by the dwellers.

Christopher indicated that the findings had been preserved over the 70,000 year period because the cave had occasionally been sealed by sand dunes from the rising sea levels in Cape Town. He said the findings give an idea of the behavior of the cave dwellers with regard to drawings they expressed interest in, how they weaved their beads and carved patterns on bones.

The head of Center for Early Sapiens Behavior at the University of Bergen added that he is not certain whether their findings should be defined as art. According to him, it could be a symbol the early men were seeking to carve onto the rock adding that, he believes the design was deliberate.

He said the interpretation of art could be ambiguous but analysis of the stone flake and bones, and pieces of the brownish yellowish rocks dug out, give a hint of early art.

According to Christopher Henshilwood, future generations might consider the artworks of Picasso as an abstract, whereby in real sense, it is an art.

Last Edited by:Francis Akhalbey Updated: September 14, 2022


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