A 100,000-Year-Old Ochre-Processing Workshop at Blombos Cave, South Africa
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The conceptual ability to source, combine, and store substances that enhance technology or social practices represents a benchmark in the evolution of complex human cognition. Excavations in 2008 at Blombos Cave, South Africa, revealed a processing workshop where a liquefied ochre-rich mixture was produced and stored in two Haliotis midae (abalone) shells 100,000 years ago. Ochre, bone, charcoal, grindstones, and hammerstones form a composite part of this production toolkit. The application of the mixture is unknown, but possibilities include decoration and skin protection.
Ochre-Processing Workshop, Blombos Cave, South Africa
Henshilwood, Christopher S.; d’Errico, Francesco; van Niekerk, Karen L.; Coquinot, Yvan; Jacobs, Zenobia; Lauritzen, Stein-Erik; Menu, Michel; and García-Moreno, Renata, "A 100,000-Year-Old Ochre-Processing Workshop at Blombos Cave, South Africa" (2011). KIP Articles. 139.