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Implications of the Marked Artifacts of the Middle Stone Age of Africa

ACACIA Programme, Department of Archaeology, School of Geography, Archaeology, and Environmental Studies, Private Bag 3, University of the Witwatersrand, WITS 2050, South Africa ([email protected]). 8 III 06

Study of the marked objects made of bone, ochre, and ostrich eggshell reported for the Middle Stone Age in Africa indicates that they are nonrepresentational, relatively small, and rare and that they may have been made in a single sitting with a design intended from the outset. Explanations for their appearance may involve a change in mental abilities and, ultimately, a change in early modern human society.