Age of African Populations Just Doubled

Date of Diepkloof Rock Shelter in South Africa
Increased from 60,000 to 130,000 Years

Science 26 November 2010:
Vol. 330 no. 6008 pp. 1174-1175
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6008.1174-b

By John Bohannon

markings on eggshellsFor the researchers who study the famed Diepkloof rock shelter in South Africa, the Preserving African Cultural Heritage meeting was both a coming-out party and a defense. Diepkloof is a key Paleolithic site, the home of 60,000-year-old decorated ostrich shells that are among the first signs of symbolism. Now the team suggests that sophisticated behavior there stretches back as far as 130,000 years ago—nearly twice as old as at any other site.

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