Nine red lines on a small rock may be the earliest drawing made by humans, Nature Magazine reported on Wednesday. Nicknamed ‘#L13’ by the archaeologists who made the discovery, the drawing is thought to be around 73,000 years old, predating the oldest previously known human-made drawing by about 30,000 years.
The researchers have given the artefact, originally called G7bCCC-L13, a new name, drawn from a much more modern symbol. “We are nicknaming it ‘#L13’ since we’re in 2018 and everything has hashtags,” Dr. van Niekerk said to the New York Times.
Discovered in the Blombos Cave in South Africa, the artefact sheds new light on early human symbolism, which laid the foundation for language, mathematics and modern civilisation. Archaeologists previously thought that the first human-made drawings appeared when humans entered Europe, but with this discovery, history is sure to be rewritten.
Read more about the interesting discovery over at the University of Bergen.