Blombos Ocher Plaque

Recording information on objects

This ocher plaque has marks that may have been used to count or store information. A close-up look at the object shows that the markings are clearly organized. This systematic pattern suggests to some researchers that the markings represent information rather than decoration.

Engraved ocher, Blombos Cave, South Africa
Blombos Ocher Plaque
Exhibit item
Date of discovery: 
1991
Discovered by: 
Christopher Henshilwood
Age: 
About 77,000 - 75,000 years old
Site: 
Blombos Cave, Republic of South Africa