Ancient, insect-proof beds found in cave

2011-12-08 22:43

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.

  • Zion - 2011-12-09 06:30

    Must have been very comfortable because much of Africa is still asleep. The mats were, probably, the forerunners of Sealy Posture Pedic.

      Michael - 2011-12-09 10:23

      Except that theirs were insect proof where-as those from Sealy . . .!

  • Fredster69 - 2011-12-09 07:23

    In the last 50 years, man has progressed so much, so you wanna tell me that for 45 000 years, he did nothing? Just goes to show that the dates and year "guessing" is incorrect. They probably used it around the 17 and 18 and even 19th century.

      Justin - 2011-12-09 08:30

      Thank you for correcting a scientist that works with this all day, every day. We are all grateful...

      Fredster69 - 2011-12-09 08:43

      Thanks Justin, only a pleasure

      Bardy - 2011-12-09 10:12

      I agree with Fredster... These scientist must have it wrong somehow. How can man have done nothing for so many thousands of years? All the development has only taken place in the last 200 or 300 years only, so how is it possible to have a modern human 50 000 years ago? This is rubbish!

      Michael - 2011-12-09 10:24

      Fredstar - no matter which way you look at your name - the view is good!

      jody.beggs - 2011-12-09 12:51

      @Bardy "All the development has only taken place in the last 200 or 300 years only". Really and Ancient Egypt is a myth. Feather beds have been around for centuries ... Damn the man.

      bmpdragon - 2011-12-09 23:48

      Freddie, see my reply to Andries (below).

  • Phoenix - 2011-12-09 09:49

    But!!! But... er the earth is only 6000 years old!!! This is not possible!

      Michael - 2011-12-09 10:25

      And in those early days you could walk off the edge and survive!

  • Andries - 2011-12-09 10:39

    "Wadley says the hunter gatherers she has been studying "were modern humans". Really now? And what happened between then and now?

      bmpdragon - 2011-12-09 23:47

      When Lyn Wadley refers to "modern humans", she is referring to their anatomy (i.e.: they are morphologically like humans today — as opposed to archaic humans such as Neandert(h)als which have several anatomical differences). Whether they were mentally modern (not in the sense of neurons, synapses, and discrete areas of the brain, but rather in the sense of cognition, meta-symbolic thought, theory of mind, etc.) is a question that Lyn Wadley and others like her are trying to find out by looking at archaeological remains. Culture, in many ways, follows Moore's Law: that is why we, as humans, see an exponential increase in our technological abilities today,

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