Archeologists have found beads made from ostrich eggshells in the Lesotho Highlands, at a distance of approximately 1,000 kilometers away from the area were ostrich could be found. The 33,000-years old piece of jewelry offers interesting information related to cultural exchange during the prehistoric age.
The egg was taken by a hunter-gatherer and most likely consumed as a part of a meal. Pieces of the shell were drilled to create holes through which animal sinews were passed to create a decorative string of beads.
While this form of primitive jewelry tends to be quite common, researchers have been fascinated by the fact that it traveled across a considerable distance from the place where it was created.
By exploring the atomic structure of the beads, the researchers concluded that exchanges that took place over such impressive distances took place at an earlier time in history than it was previously thought.
Jewelry Made Of Ostrich Eggshells Shed More Light On The Behavior Ancient Humans
Humans have favored social gestures from the early days of their existence, and the gift was likely used to obtain valuable information for a hunter-gatherer group.
Lesotho is a country located at a relatively large altitude, nestled between several mountain ranges and rivers. It has the highest average elevation on the African continent, and previous research mentioned that it was one of the best places where hunter-gatherer groups could live and thrive.
Due to the landlocked position, vast reserves of fresh water, and rich amounts of resources, the region has been favored by hunter-gatherers since more than 85,000 years ago.
Ostrich eggshell beads and jewelry made with the help of these beads reinforced the connections between select groups while also informing others that power relations have already been established. The team observed small ornaments that were made out of ostrich eggshell, but there was no evidence of them being manufactured in the area. A paper was published in a scientific journal.