Blombos cave markings is the oldest painted colorful human drawings to date
Researchers from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa have discovered the oldest human-made drawing in the Blombos cave in South Africa.
The drawing consists of three red lines intersecting with six separate lines deliberately drawn on the walls of the cave at least 73,000 years ago.
This painting is preceded by the oldest discovered figure to date at least 30,000 years.
Archaeologist Luca Pollarlo, according to the university’s official website, said laboratory tests showed that the drawings date back to the Middle Stone Age, stressing that the lines on the cave’s rocks “can not be made by nature.”
The researchers examined the lines using an electron microscope and a pomegranate spectrometer, and found that the drawings were made by a pen whose thickness ranged from 1 to 3 millimeters.
Prior to this discovery, archaeologists were long convinced that human-made symbols first appeared when the wise man entered Europe about 40,000 years ago.
The oldest known inscription is found on Java Island, and scientists believe it is about 540,000 years old.
The new pattern, however, is the oldest color drawing discovered so far.
Researchers have yet to assess the symbolic dimension of the drawings found in the South African cave.
Symbols are an inherent part of our humanity. Language, writing and laws can not evolve without the typical human capacity to create symbols and to embody them in material culture.
The researchers try to understand the different types of symbols of our ancestors in an attempt to understand the culture prevailing in that period.