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26-Dec-2017 05:36

These included healing the sick, controlling the weather, visiting far-off places and controlling the movements of game.

A number of common dance postures are frequently depicted in the paintings: bending forward at the waist (sometimes supported by dancing sticks), having the arms held out backwards, bleedingfrom the nose and the related hand-to-nose posture.

"But with the ability to obtain reliable radiocarbon dates on pictographs, archaeologists have now begun to incorporate rock art into a broader study that includes other cultural remains." Archaeologists have discovered a cluster of 12 unusual stones in the back of a small, prehistoric rock-shelter near the town of Boquete in Panama.

The cache represents the earliest material evidence ...

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Rowe describes a new, highly sensitive dating method, called accelerator mass spectrometry, that requires only 0.05 milligrams of carbon (the weight of 50 specks of dust).The San, or Bushmen, are indigenous people in Southern Africa particularly in what is now South Africa and Botswana.Their ancient rock paintings and carvings (collectively called rock art) are found in caves and on rock shelters.Many experts had assumed that the black paint used in African pictures was based on manganese compounds and that the rock art would therefore have contained too little carbon to be reliably dated, he says.

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As a result, techniques developed in Europe and elsewhere have not previously been applied in Africa.“What we’ve been doing previously existed out of time,” says Pearce.