Prehistoric ‘hashtag’ may be world’s oldest drawing: study

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This undated photo provided by Magnus M. Haaland in September 2018 shows researchers in the interior of the Blombos Cave east of Cape Town, South Africa. (AP)
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This undated photo provided by Craig Foster in September 2018 shows a drawing made with ochre pigment on silcrete stone, found in the Blombos Cave east of Cape Town, South Africa. (AP)
Updated 13 September 2018
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Prehistoric ‘hashtag’ may be world’s oldest drawing: study

  • The design pre-dates previously identified abstract drawings from Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia by at least 30,000 years
  • It was found by researchers inside the Blombos Cave, around 300 kilometers (185 miles) east of Cape Town

PARIS: It may be a symbol of the Internet age but scientists in South Africa have found an ancient hashtag scrawled on a piece of rock that they believe is the world’s oldest “pencil” drawing.
The design, which archaeologists say was created around 73,000 years ago, pre-dates previously identified abstract drawings from Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia by at least 30,000 years.
It was found by researchers inside the Blombos Cave, around 300 kilometers (185 miles) east of Cape Town, a site that contains evidence of some of the earliest instances of what humans today would call culture.
Previous expeditions to the cave found shell beads, engraved pieces of ochre and even tools manufactured from a rudimentary cement-like substance.
Among the artefacts was a small flake of silicate rock, onto which a three-by-six line cross-hatched pattern had been intentionally drawn in red ochre.
“Our microscopic and chemical analyzes of the pattern confirm that red ochre pigment was intentionally applied to the flake with an ochre crayon,” the team wrote in a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
They said the pattern appearing on the fragment may have originally extended over a larger area and could have been “more complex in its entirety.”
Although there are far older known cave engravings, including one in Java that is at least half-a-million years old, the team of researchers said the Blombos Cave hashtag was the oldest known drawing.
“This reinforces the idea that drawing was something that existed in the minds of the hunter-gatherers,” Francesco d’Errico, a director of the National Center for Scientific Research at the University of Bordeaux, told AFP.
While drawings such as the one unearthed in South Africa undoubtedly had a “symbolic meaning” d’Errico said early humans “probably didn’t consider them as art.”


Post Malone to headline Abu Dhabi Grand Prix concert

Award winner, Post Malone is set to perform in the UAE. (AFP)
Updated 26 September 2018
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Post Malone to headline Abu Dhabi Grand Prix concert

  • Post Malone has been confirmed as a performer for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • He is set to perform on Thursday Nov.22

DUBAI: US rapper and singer Post Malone has been confirmed as one of the headlining acts at this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

He is set to perform on Thursday Nov. 22 and will kick off the four nights of live acts to celebrate 10 years of the Formula One in Abu Dhabi. The other three nights will include performances by The Weeknd, Sam Smith and legendary rockers, Guns N’ Roses.

Post Malone is an American singer, rapper, songwriter and record producer who started off his career in 2010. He rose to fame with his debut song “White Iverson,” which made it to the Billboard Hot 100. From then, he collaborated with various artists and created smash hits that have topped the charts.

Just this year, he released his second album, which features hit song “Rockstar.”