Early Africans introduced ancient make-up for decorative purposes in Northern China 40,000 yrs ago

Stephen Nartey November 08, 2022
Coloured pigmentation/Photo credit: Wiki

The use of ancient make-up for decorative purposes in Northern China was a result of the migration of early men from Africa to that region. Archaeological findings suggest that early Africans pioneered the use of innovative tools in extracting pigments for decorative and symbolic purposes in Northern China some 40,000 years ago.

These revelations show that inhabitants of Xiamabei came up with their own colored pigments for use some 9,000 years before evidence emerged that residents of East Asia also used pigment for decorative purposes.

An archaeologist with the Hebei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology in China, Fa-Gang Wang, said the early Africans were the first to introduce the use of pigment in the China region. The findings, which were published in Nature, indicated that the early African should be credited with the ingenuity exhibited in the Nihewan Basin around 40,000 years ago.

The researchers discovered an area with red-stained sediment, two pigment pieces with different mineral compositions and a pigment-stained limestone slab, according to Science News. The colored pigment had been handed over from generation to generation in the Xiamabei region.

What firmed up the theory of the archaeologists was a stone that was likely used in pounding the pigment which was placed next to light-colored and dark-colored pigment pieces and a limestone slab with pigment littered all over it.

The researchers said they were able to dig up 400 stone relics used by the inhabitants of Xiamabei made from bladelike tools of various shapes and sizes. The researchers who find their discovery astounding said that at least seven of the bladelike tools showed some semblance of having handles and were used in carrying out tasks like the scraping of animal hide and slashing of plants as well as animal tissue.

The archaeologists say though they have not come across the remains of early men in Xiamabei, there is evidence linking the presence of prehistoric men in Northern China some 40,000 years ago. It gives a sense of these prehistoric men settling in the region for a period of time.

Scientists are yet to establish the ancestry of the population on whether they are mixed as well as the cultural bearings they had on the population Xiamabei. Co-author of the findings with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, Shi-Xia Yang, indicated that there is no denying that prehistoric men from Africa exhibited enough cultural presence in parts of Asia.

He cited the use of beads, pendants and the skills of making tiny stone blades some 35,000 years ago in China. The early African’s creativity in the forging of tools to make their life comfortable and introducing cultural innovations wherever they went cannot be overlooked in the evolution of humankind.

This can be seen in their adaption of the hot weather conditions in Africa to the way they adjusted to the cold climate in Asia, which they may have been unacquainted with. The survival of modern hunter-gathers can be attributed to this ingenuity and survival techniques of prehistoric men.

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