The oldest ever evidence that early humans painted has been found in South Africa, in the form of two kits for mixing and forming ochre, a reddish pigment used to dye clothing, paint, and create face paint.
Ochre is a naturally occurring red stone that has been associated across the globe with early art, thanks to its ability to be painted on walls, skin, trees, or just about any surface.
This incredible find comes from Blombos Cave in Cape Town, South Africa pushes back the date of complex art significantly, as ochre previously had only been well documented around 60,000 BP.
The kits were two abalone shells, their breathing holes plugged so that they could be used to store the mixture. It contained ochre, bone, charcoal, grindstones and hammerstones.