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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The origins of art, some 300,000 years *before* humans evolved

The dates for early art keep getting pushed back.

This time, it's way, way back --- to some 430-540K years ago, when homo erectus was top of the evolutionary ladder and people like us --- homo sapiens --- were maybe 300K years in the future.

Until now, h.erectus was thought to make stone tools, and that was about it.

But researchers found geometric etchings on a clam shell: They're not much to look at, but were, at the time, a wholly new invention in the world: decorative art.

Here's a close up of some; clearly intentional, clearly artificial, and rather delicately done:

Meet the artist: Homo erectus looked like this:

Story: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22429983.200-shell-art-made-300000-years-before-humans-evolved.html#.VIBdgqgo5J-

Timeline of all early art finds, including the etched shell: