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Title: Early Middle Stone Age personal ornaments from Bizmoune Cave, Essaouira, Morocco
Authors: Sehasseh, El Mehdi
Fernandez, Philippe
Kuhn, Steven
Stiner, Mary
Mentzer, Susan
Colarossi, Debra
Clark, Amy
Lanoe, François
Pailes, Matthew
Hoffmann, Dirk
Benson, Alexa
Rhodes, Edward
Benmansour, Moncef
Laissaoui, Abdelmoughit
Ziani, Ismail
Vidal Matutano,Paloma 
Morales Mateos, Jacob Bentejui 
Djellal, Youssef
Longet, Benoit
Hublin, Jean-Jacques
Mouhiddine, Mohammed
Rafi, Fatima-Zohra
Worthey, Kayla Beth
Sanchez-Morales, Ismael
Ghayati, Noufel
Bouzouggar, Abdeljalil
UNESCO Clasification: 550405 Prehistoria
550501 Arqueología
Issue Date: 2021
Journal: Science advances 
Abstract: Ornaments such as beads are among the earliest signs of symbolic behavior among human ancestors. Their appearance signals important developments in both cognition and social relations. This paper describes and presents contextual information for 33 shell beads from Bizmoune Cave (southwest Morocco). Many of the beads come as deposits dating to ≥142 thousand years, making them the oldest shell beads yet recovered. They extend the dates for the first appearance of this behavior into the late Middle Pleistocene. The ages and ubiquity of beads in Middle Stone Age (MSA) sites in North Africa provide further evidence of the potential importance of these artifacts as signals of identity. The early and continued use of Tritia gibbosula and other material culture traits also suggest a remarkable degree of cultural continuity among early MSA Homo sapiens groups across North Africa.
ISSN: 2375-2548
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abi8620
Source: Science Advances [2375-2548], vol.7 nº 39, abi8620
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