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US News: An 18,000-year-old social network with ostrich egg beads

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Des bijoux réalisés à partir d’œufs d’autruche ont été découverts en Afrique australe et orientale. Photo d'illustration. © Aizar Rals / AFP jewelry made from ostrich eggs were discovered in southern and eastern Africa. Photo Stock Illustration.

Jewelry made from ostrich eggs have revealed an old social network of nearly 50,000 years. These pearls have been discovered in southern and eastern Africa in areas remote thousands of kilometers. They tell the social interactions of the populations present in the region during prehistory.

Archaeologists revealed the existence of a vast social network that existed 33,000 to 50,000 years ago in Eastern and Southern Africa. In this area extending from Kenya to the southern tip of the continent, pearls made from ostrich egg shells were discovered, reports Slate according to a referenced article on the Guardian . They would be the first formatted jewels known in history.

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This study published in the Nature journal focused on social interactions during prehistory. And the similarities between the discovered pearls have made it possible to exhume clues. "Over the 50,000 years we examined, this is the only period when the characteristics of the pearls are the same" , said Yiming Wang, co-author of the article with Jennifer Miller, both archaeologists at the Institute Max Planck.

"Jewelry exchanged tell us who spoke to whom"

"jewelry exchanged tell us who spoke to whom" , highlighted an archaeologist with Guardian. Similar jewels have been found in areas remote several thousand kilometers. "Humans have evolved into a patchwork of semi-connected populations across Africa. Understand when and how these groups came into contact is crucial to interpret our current cultural and biological diversity ", specify scientists, cited by Slate.

The discovery and study of these pearls by archaeologists also led to a discovery on the effects of climate change. 17,000 years ago, people from southern Africa would have ceased to wear jewelry, while groups in the west of the continent would have continued to do so. This division between the communities would have been linked to floods due to the overflow of the Zambezi River, according to the researchers.

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