50,000-year-old ‘social network’ discovered in Africa

(ORDO NEWS) — In Africa, they found the world’s oldest “social network”, which flourished more than 50 thousand years ago. In it, messages between people were transmitted using eggshells and necklaces.

This study was conducted by German scientists from the Max Plan Institute for the History of Humanity, which is located in Jena.

Experts said that the network of connections was incredibly long and stretched for a huge number of kilometers across Africa. Compared to the modern version of the social network, the ancient version was much simpler than the electronic equivalent.

It was based on the exchange, as well as the trade in necklaces, which were made from the shell of ostrich eggs. It was the oldest form of jewelry used by mankind.

In the course of the study, German specialists studied over one and a half thousand such beads, which were found in 30 different places in eastern and southern Africa.

An analysis of the finds showed that the people who were engaged in the creation of such jewelry exchanged them over fairly large distances. They used them to send a variety of simple messages, which made it quite easy to strengthen ties.

Scientists compared the diameter of the shell, the outer holes and the thickness of its walls. Thus, they were able to establish that about 50 thousand years ago, the inhabitants of eastern as well as southern Africa used the egg shell in order to produce almost identical beads.

There was a huge distance between groups of people and communities, which indicates the presence of a specific social network that stretched for several thousand miles and was able to connect people from very different regions.


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