Ancient Shell Jewelry

27 Jun

Ancient Shell Jewelry

Man (and woman for that matter) has been adorning themselves with beads for centuries.

Shells, in particular, are one type of naturally occurring beadwork. I occasionally make my way to the ocean and love to gather shells for future jewelry and craft related projects.

Surprisingly, a huge number of shells I find have holes already in them. Add them to a chain or some twin and you are almost good to go. Seems like ancient man had the same idea.

From Ancient shells found in Israel may be humanity's oldest jewelry:

Ancient beads that may represent the oldest attempt by people at self-decoration have been identified from sites in Israel and Algeria, according to a report published in a scientific journal Friday.

The beads, made from shells with holes bored into them, date to around 100,000 years ago, some 25,000 years older than similar beads discovered two years ago in South Africa, researchers report in the journal Science.

"Our paper supports the scenario that modern humans in Africa developed behaviors that are considered modern quite early in time, so that in fact these people were probably not just biologically modern but also culturally and cognitively modern, at least to some degree," said study co-author Francesco d'Errico of the National Center for Scientific Research in Talence, France.

The new find involves just three shells, two from Skhul in northern Israel, which the researchers said were about 100,000 years old and one from Oued Djebbana, Algeria, estimated to be 90,000 years old. The researchers said the shells were found many miles from the sea, indicating they were brought to those locations deliberately, most likely for beadworking.

Related posts:

  1. Bead Museum

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