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Why Early Men In South Africa Used Ashes To Make Their Beds 227,000 Years Ago

Border Cave Bed

 

It may sound strange, but early humans relied on ashes from camphor wood to keep mosquitoes and other insects away at night. If you describe it as innovative, you would be correct because they used fire not only to drive away predators but also to protect themselves from illness.

The use of grasses and ashes to make beds was the most intriguing drive to improve the comfort of early men in South Africa’s Border Cave. According to Nerdist, researchers determined that the beds discovered in early man’s rock shelters near the Lebombo Mountains were 227,000 years old. The hilly region’s inhabitants lived there between 227,000 and 1,000 years ago.

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Early man placed grasses and ashes that formed the base of their beds at the back of the cave and far from their entrance in anticipation of the dangers as well as their sense of offering effective protection during the night. This strategy was intended to act as a windbreak, allowing them to light fires to protect themselves from wild beasts.

Lyn Wadley, professor of archaeology at South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand, who published the findings in Science, said the research team had a strong sense that early men had a strong desire for an organized life in terms of rest and work. Wadley was convinced that the manner in which the beddings were organized demonstrated that early man practiced a high level of hygiene.

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She was surprised by the creativity and thought that went into the art of using grasses and ashes as a bed. Beds 100,000 years old and older were popular when early men began experimenting with what could make their lives easier and more comfortable.

Professor Wadley explained that the assumptions her research team developed to explain the bed scenario were that early men sought to take advantage of the availability of grasses and ashes in their immediate surroundings. She stated that they used the ashes for the added benefit of driving away insects that frequently disturbed their sleep.

She explained that they used more grasses to make the bed, which was probably 12 inches thick, and that it was laid on soft, clean ashes gathered from wood camphor. Professor Wadley went on to say that the bed’s comfort level was comparable to that of a camping bed.

According to the researchers, the border cave’s surroundings revealed how they organized their lives. She claims that even though these early men were thought to be unintelligent, their findings point to people who were conscious of living in a clean environment. The fireplaces were placed close to their beds, sending the signal of the warmth they needed to sleep.

Professor Wadley stated that the use of ashes to drive away insects provided insight into the knowledge early men had about their health and the importance of personal hygiene in protecting their welfare.

They also did this by using the byproduct of the firewood they burned to protect themselves while sleeping and to extract the ashes after they were exhausted.

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Written by How Africa News

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