It lasted 17,000 years... The oldest "social network" in history was revealed

The British newspaper "The Guardian" reported that a team of scientists managed to discover the oldest social network, which preceded the Facebook platform and its sisters by thousands of years.

The newspaper quoted experts as saying that this network is more than 50,000 years old and spread across thousands of kilometers in the African continent, which created a kind of communication and exchange of messages between its inhabitants for a long time.

A team of scientists in Germany relied on studying more than 1,500 beads in 31 different locations across southern and eastern Africa, which were made from ostrich eggshells in the form of small circles pierced in half before being inserted into threads to become bracelets and neck collars.

The lead author of the study, Jennifer Miller, from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, explained that studying and analyzing these beads is like looking for their way to chase down small pieces of news crumbs, adding: These beads are evidence of a social network.

She added, "Wearing these beads used to convey many symbolic messages, to indicate something about social status, wealth or status in society, as a wedding ring does in our time."

The results of the study indicated that the people who made the beads exchanged them over vast distances, which helps to exchange symbolic messages and strengthen alliances between tribes and local communities.

According to the study, the results indicate the existence of a far-reaching social network that extended over thousands of miles, and connected people with each other even in remote areas. 

Miller considered that these sparkling beads were one of humanity's oldest cultural traditions, and that despite their small size, they were able to tell us many stories that happened in the past.

In the same vein, archaeologist Michelle Langley, who works at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, believes that these jewelry told a lot about the person who wore them, their social standing, their tribal identity, and other things.

But the first social network in the world lasted only 17,000 years. More than 33,000 years ago, the pattern of wearing beads changed suddenly, as it disappeared from southern Africa while continuing in its east, and some scientists attribute this to the climatic changes that the continent witnessed. The brunette that kept communicating. 

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