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Stone Age Code Red: Scarlet symbols emerge in Israeli cave

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1:18pm, October 29, 2003

The Qafzeh Cave in Israel contains skeletal remains of modern Homo sapiens that are more than 90,000 years old, as well as more-recent signs of human occupation. Investigators now say that red ocher found in Qafzeh Cave's oldest sections supports the controversial theory that symbolic thinking, a hallmark of modern-day human thought, arose deep in the Stone Age.

Archaeologists traditionally have held that the assigning of separate meanings to certain items or colors emerged no more than 50,000 years ago, with the appearance of Upper Paleolithic cultures.

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