Prehistoric farmers were first beekeepers [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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11-11-2015, 07:14 PM
From BBC News 11/11/2015

11-13-2015, 05:26 AM
Good research that supports previous estimations of mans association with bees to around 10,000 years ago. Not sure that the evidence is strong enough to support mans early domestication of bees. However, it is strong evidence supporting honey gathering.

The date I use for prehistoric mans earliest known association with honeybees is 40,000 B.P.

Recent archaeological discovers at the Border Cave dates mans association with bees to around 40,000 years ago.


Recent archaeological discoveries have revealed that pigment use, beads, engravings, and sophisticated stone and bone tools were already present in southern Africa 75,000 y ago. Many of these artifacts disappeared by 60,000 y ago, suggesting that modern behavior appeared in the past and was subsequently lost before becoming firmly established. Most archaeologists think that San hunter–gatherer cultural adaptation emerged 20,000 y ago. However, reanalysis of organic artifacts from Border Cave, South Africa, shows that the Early Later Stone Age inhabitants of this cave used notched bones for notational purposes, wooden digging sticks, bone awls, and bone points similar to those used by San as arrowheads. A point is decorated with a spiral groove filled with red ochre, which closely parallels similar marks that San make to identify their arrowheads when hunting. A mixture of beeswax, Euphorbia resin, and possibly egg, wrapped in vegetal fibers, dated to 40,000 BP, may have been used for hafting. Ornaments include marine shell beads and ostrich eggshell beads, directly dated to 42,000 BP. A digging stick, dated to 39,000 BP, is made of Flueggea virosa. A wooden poison applicator, dated to 24,000 BP, retains residues with ricinoleic acid, derived from poisonous castor beans. Reappraisal of radiocarbon age estimates through Bayesian modeling, and the identification of key elements of San material culture at Border Cave, places the emergence of modern hunter–gatherer adaptation, as we know it, to 44,000 y ago.

Best Wishes