The Blombos Dragon Bone

The Blombos Dragon Bone | 2014 | Polyurethane and Oil Paint

The Blombos Dragon Bone | 2014 | Polyurethane and Oil Paint | Edition of 3

Blombos is a cave about three hundred km down the south coast from Cape Town. The cave contains an archaeological record from the Middle Stone Age, between 70, 000 and 100, 000 years ago.

blombos-engraved-ochre

The Blombos ochre

Along with bone and stone tools, beads and an apparent pigment processing workshop, the archaeologists discovered several pieces of ochre engraved with a distinctive abstract pattern. The significance of these engraved pieces of ochre is that they show the human inhabitants of the cave were engaging in symbolic thought, which suggests that they were cognitively complex and behaviourally modern. These are also the earliest evidence of abstract thought and language, some 30, 000 years before similar signs develop in the European record.

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