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.
Haliotis Midae, Blombos Cave, Evolution Of Complex Human Cognition
Henshilwood, Christopher S.; d’Errico, Francesco; and van Niekerk, Karen L., "A 100,000-Year-Old Ochre-Processing Workshop at Blombos Cave, South Africa" (2011). KIP Articles. 15.