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Ancient beads found in northern Africa

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1:49pm, June 19, 2007

Excavations in eastern Morocco have yielded 13 perforated, pigment-stained shells that were probably strung together as some type of body ornament about 82,000 years ago, according to a new report.

The ancient finds, referred to as shell beads by Abdeljalil Bouzouggar of the National Institute of Archaeological and Historical Sciences in Rabat, Morocco, and his coworkers, come from snails of the same genus as do 75,000-year-old perforated shells previously discovered in South Africa. Similar shell ornaments, not yet firmly dated, also come from sites in Algeria and Israel.

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