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Fashion Conscious Ancient Humans

Ancient Humans were Fashion Conscious

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A new study of ancient jewellery found in a South African cave has revealed that our ancient ancestors were interested in fashion as far back as 75,000 years ago.

A team of researchers led by archaeologists Marian Vanhaeren of the University of Bordeaux in France analysed jewellery items found at Blombos Cave in South Africa in archaeological layers dated between 75,000 and 72,000 years ago, including 68 specimens of the southern African tick shell, found clustered together and thought to be part of individual necklaces or bracelets.

By stringing the shells together in various configurations, the team found different ways that the beads may have been worn. The study claims to have found evidence of a relatively sudden shift in the way that shell beads were worn as jewellery by our ancient ancestors.

Archaeologists maintain that the wearing of jewellery in the form of beads worn as necklaces or bracelets, and the development of other personal ornaments, are signs of sophisticated symbolic behaviour which communicate either membership to a particular group or culture, or individual identity. 

By April Holloway

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April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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