Ancient Shell Beads

Ancient Shell Beads
Exhibit item
Age: 
About 82,000 years old
Site: 
Grotte des Pigeons, Taforalt, Morocco

Early Trade Routes?


These 82,000 year old Nassarius gibbosulus shell beads were discovered more than 40 km (25 mi) from the Mediterranean Sea, where they originated. By 40,000 years ago, humans were transporting decorative shells—and perhaps trading them—over areas of more than 500 km (310 mi).

Shell beads; Grotte des Pigeons, Taforalt, Morocco