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They were found during excavations at the Border Cave site in the Lebombo mountain range in South Africa.
A team of archaeologists from South Africa found evidence that humans were building grass beds to create comfortable areasat least 200,000 years agoThe University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg announced this Thursday.
Stone Age beds, made ofsheaves of a grass of the subfamily Panicoideae, placed onash layers, were found at the bottom of Border Cave, an archaeological site located in the Lebombo mountain range, near the border between South Africa and Swaziland.
According to the researchers, the ash could be used to create "a dirt-free base" andprotect the inhabitants of the cave from ticks and other insects. “Sometimes the ash was a remnant of the old bed of grass that had been burned to clear the cave and get rid of pests. On other occasions, the wood ashes from the bonfires were also used as a clean layer for a new bed, ”explained Lyn Wadley, lead author of the recent study published in the journal Science, adding that archaeologists discovered the remains of 'Tarchonanthus' , a plant that is still used to eliminate pests in rural East Africa.
The archaeologists came to the conclusion that these beds were used not only for rest and sleep, but alsoeveryday work spacesas waste from stone tool making mixed with grass was discovered.
"In addition, many small, rounded grains of red and orange ocher were found on the bed, where they may have detached from human skin or some objects," Wadley explained.
The expert stressed that research shows that "already more than 200,000 years ago,almost from the origin of our species, humans could make fire "and used" ash and medicinal plants to keep camps clean and free of pests. "