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Abstract Art Has Longer History Than Previously Known
'Oldest known drawing' found on tiny rock in South Africa
Sep 13, 2018 History
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The drawing is about 73,000 years old, and shows cross-hatched lines sketched onto stone with red ochre pigment. Scientists discovered the small fragment of the drawing - which some say looks a bit like a hashtag - in Blombos Cave on the southern coast of South Africa.

The find is "a prime indicator of modern cognition" in our species, the report says. While scientists have found older engravings around the world, research published on Wednesday in the journal Nature says the lines on this stone mark the first abstract drawing.

The article says the ancient artist used an "ochre crayon" to etch it onto the stone. Humanity has used ochre, a clay earth pigment, for at least 285,000 years.

The drawing was "probably more complex" in its entirety, archaeologist Christopher Henshilwood told Reuters. "The abrupt termination of all lines on the fragment edges indicates that the pattern originally extended over a larger surface, " he said. He told Reuters that while the team would be "hesitant to call it art," it almost definitely has "some meaning to the maker".

There have been numerous other artefacts found in Blombos Cave, 300 kilometres east of Cape Town, including beads covered in red ochre, engraved ochre fragments, and other decorative objects.

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aid

help


n,v.援助

an-cient

very old


adj.古老

ar-chae-o-lo-gist

person who studies ancient people and how they lived


n.考古学家

ar-ti-fact

any object made by human beings, especially long ago


n.文物

ash

the powdery residue left after the burning of a substance or emitted by a volcano


n.灰

coast

the edge of the land where it meets the sea


n.岸边

com-plex

consisting of many connected parts


adj.复杂

de-fi-nite-ly

no doubt, of course


adv.无疑

dis-co-vered

found, uncovered


v.发现    

frag-ment

a small part broken or separated off something


n.分段/碎片

frag-ments

a small part broken or separated off something


n.废墟

in-clu-ding

containing, having as part of the whole


prep.包含

lar-ger

bigger


adj.较大

nu-mer-ous

great in number; many


adj.众多

ob-ject

a thing that can be seen and touched    


n.目的/物体    

o-ri-gi-nal

the first


adj.原始/原版的

o-ri-gi-nal-ly

in the beginning, at first


adv.本来/原来

pig-ment

the natural colouring matter of animal or plant tissue


n.颜料/色素

pub-lished

to put out a book for sale


v.发表

re-search

looking for knowledge


v.调研

sci-en-tists

experts in science, people who study science


n.科学家

spe-cies

kinds or sorts of animal


n.种类

sur-face

the top, or the outer layer


n.表面/外观

tend

regularly or frequently behave in a particular way or have a certain characteristic


v.趋向