Ancient, insect-proof beds found in cave
Johannesburg - Researchers say our ancestors in South Africa were making their homes safer and more comfortable with grasses and leaves we still use today.
The research will appear in Friday's edition of the journal Science.
Lead researcher Lyn Wadley of the University of the Witwatersrand says mats believed used for bedding and work surfaces fit other findings that show modern man evolved in Africa. Her mats are some 50 000 years older than other examples of plant bedding found elsewhere.
Wadley says the hunter gatherers she has been studying "were modern humans".
Nick Barton, of Oxford's Institute of Archaeology, said work by Wadley and others in southern Africa and his own work in North Africa is building a picture of how and where modern man evolved.