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First Jewelry? Old Shell Beads Suggest Early Use of Symbols

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Science  23 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5781, pp. 1731
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5781.1731

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On page 1785 of this issue of Science, researchers claim that three grape-sized shells from the Levant and North Africa were worn as beads 100,000 or more years ago. If true, this would push back the earliest evidence for symbolism by at least 25,000 years. (Read more.)