An hashtag-like drawing on a rock flake found in the Blombos cave in South Africa is recorded to be the world’s oldest drawing dating back to over 73,000 years ago.
The small rock flake no larger than a house key is covered with a colossal surprise is recorded to be the first and oldest drawing ever made by a human.
The researchers who analyzed the doodle stated that early humans used a red-ochre crayon to draw a hashtag-like design on a rock flake in what is now South Africa about 73,000 years ago,
“It’s unclear what the crisscrossed lines mean, but similar designs have been found at other early human sites in South Africa, Australia and France”, said study senior researcher Christopher Henshilwood, Director of the Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour at the University of Bergen in Norway.
Henshilwood stated that the piece of abstract art “is a hashtag”. Scientists argue that the way the lines of the drawing end suggest that the pattern was once part of a much larger drawing, which may have been more complex.
Producing signs and symbols seems to be part of the human repertoire. The cave is famous for its Middle Stone Age artifacts including shell beads and engraved stone tools that were left by humans who lived there between 100,000 and 70,000 years ago.
Since excavation began in Blombos Cave in 1991, the site has yielded a treasure trove of artefacts and knowledge about the behaviour of our earliest human ancestors. It dates as far back as the Middle Stone Age, which was between 70,000 and 100,000 years ago.
Previous discoveries at the Blombos cave heritage site have included a 100,000-year-old ochre paint “workshop” and ancient shell beads, both of which demonstrate behavioural characteristics of modern humans.