Ancient zigzag reveals world's first artist wasn't exactly human

December 4, 2014 3:44 PM

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A human ancestor carved a zigzag onto the shell of a mussel some 430,000 years ago. Now that shell, recovered from a riverbank in Indonesia in 1891, could alter our understanding of what it means to be human.

Artistic creativity has long been considered unique to Homo sapiens: Before the shell's discovery, the earliest evidence of geometric art came in the form of rock scratches dated to no older than 100,000 years ago, National Geographic reports.

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