The oldest jewellery known to date was discovered in the Blombos cave on the coast of south Africa. The piece was dated at 75000 years, and was made out of the shells of a sea snail to form a necklace.
Oldest Jewelry? "Beads" Discovered in African Cave
Humans may have been wearing jewelry as far back as 75,000 years ago, about 30,000 years earlier than previously thought, if 41 shells found at Blombos Cave in South Africa prove to have been used as beads.
The shells are from a tiny mollusk, Nassarius kraussianus, that lived in a nearby estuary. They have perforations and wear marks consistent with being used as beads, according to scientists excavating the middle Stone Age site.
The presence of beads, whether used as trade items, to convey group status, or to identify group members or relationships within a group suggests some form of language existed, says Henshilwood, who is affiliated with the University of Bergen, Norway, and the State University of New York.