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Ancient Makeup Alters Timeline of Modern Man

Posted: October 18, 2007
According to an Associated Press story, archaeologists found 164,000-year old makeup in a South African cave, a discovery that challenges how scientists view Homo sapiens march into modernity. The makeup, 57 pieces of ground-up rock that would have been reddish- or pinkish-brown, is called one of three hallmarks of modern life found at the site, and is one of the earliest hints of “modern” living. Previously, scientists believed that humankind of this time period weren’t advanced enough for this type of behavior, believing that modern living began approximately 40,000 to 70,000 years ago.

The find at Pinnacle Point overlooking the Indian Ocean near South Africa’s Mossel Bay indicates that man may have become modern in stuttering fits and starts or through a long slow march that began earlier than previously thought—though there have been reports of earlier but sporadic pigment use in Africa.