Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest piece of jewellery, saying that the beads they found in Morocco, which are 150,000 years old, may had been worn as earrings or in the form of a necklace, and a collection of 33 seashells was discovered between 2014 and 2018 at the entrance of the ‘’Bismoun Cave’’ about 10 miles from Essaouira, a city which takes place on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
The beads date back between 142,000 and 150,000 years and were found by a team of anthropologists from the American University of Arizona in Tucson.
“This is the oldest known evidence of a form of nonverbal human communication that hints at the origin of our cognitive skills,” the lead author of the study, quoted by Daily Mail said in a statement.
He added: “This indicates that human behavior in expression through wearing jewelry and other ornamentation began much earlier than expected. Not to mention that maybe they were part of a way that expresses people’s identities through what they wear on their clothes”.
“The revelations showed that the history of human self-expression used to exist even hundreds of thousands of years ago, and that humans were interested in communicating with larger groups of people than their close friends and families,” he said.
The beads discovered by the archaeological researcher and his collaborators were made of shells of sea snails, each about half an inch long, as well as other signs of wear, indicate that they were hanging on threads or from clothing.
The beads are as similar as many others found at locations throughout Northern and Southern Africa, but previous examples date back no more than 130, 000 years.
Ancient beads from North Africa are associated with the Atyrian Culture – a Mesolithic culture known for its distinctive spear-emanating points, whose people hunted deer, wild animals, pigs, and rhinos, among other animals.
By Nouhaila El Bouhli