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An engraved bone fragment from c. 70,000-year-old Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa: implications for the origin of symbolism and language

  • Francesco D'Errico (a1), Christopher Henshilwood (a2) and Peter Nilssen (a3)

Examination of marks on a bone from Blombos Cave reveals that they were intentionally engraved and there is evidence of bone working techniques at the site. Engraved designs have also been identified on pieces of ochre from Blombos Cave, suggesting such engraving was a symbolic act with symbolic meaning.

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