World’s oldest known drawing found in African cave


It looks a bit like a hashtag, but it’s 73,000 years old. And scientists say this tiny sketch found in a South African cave is the oldest known drawing by humans.

It’s not the earliest deliberate design; some abstract engravings are far older. But the drawing shows early humans in southern Africa could produce designs on various surfaces with different techniques.

The collection of crisscrossed lines was found in the Blombos Cave about 300 kilometres east of Cape Town. It is at least 30,000 years older than any other known drawing, researchers say in a report released Wednesday by the journal Nature.

It was created with a sharpened flake of ochre, a pigment widely used in the ancient world, said Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergen in Norway.

Researchers work inside the Blombos Cave…

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