Recent finds in the eastern Jordanian desert revealed jewelry and
art from 20,000 years ago, at a site called Kharaneh IV. Here are
parts of a report from the University of Cambridge (UK).
..."The stone tools and animal bone vastly exceed the amounts
recovered from most other sites of this time period in southwest
Asia." In addition, the team also recovered rarer items, such as
shell beads, bones with regularly incised lines and a fragment of
limestone with geometric carved patterns. ...
"Inside the huts, we found intentionally burnt piles of gazelle
horn cores, clumps of red ochre pigment and a cache of hundreds
of pierced marine shells. These shell beads were brought to the
site from the Mediterranean and Red Sea over 250 km away, showing
that people were very well linked to regional social networks and
exchanged items across considerable distances." ...
"People lived here for considerable periods of time when these
huts were built. They exchanged objects with other groups in the
region and even buried their dead at the site. These activities
precede the settlements associated with the emergence of
agriculture, which replaced hunting and gathering later on. At
Kharaneh IV we have been able to document similar behaviour a
full 10,000 years before agriculture appears on the scene."