How prehistoric ostrich-egg beads formed SA’s first social ...


How prehistoric ostrich-egg beads formed SA’s first social network

They crisscrossed southern Africa during an ancient era of climate change, and scientists are deciphering their meaning

Cape Town bureau chief

Carved ostrich eggshells flood out of SA in tourists’ holdalls, but new research has found this is far from a new phenomenon.

Our prehistoric ancestors traded beads made of ostrich egg for tens of thousands of years, according to a study published on Monday in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (

Beads made in the Karoo were transported hundreds of kilometres, and have been unearthed in what is now Lesotho, according to isotope analysis by scientists at the University of Michigan...

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