A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Abalone shell-you can see some of the ochre rich deposit. Image: Science/AAAS

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Karen van Niekerk removes the abalone containing the ochre grinder and ochre from the 100,000 year-old layers at Blombos Cave in South Africa. Image courtesy of Grethe Moell Pedersen

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Blombos Cave entrance from Indian ocean coast. Image courtesy of Magnus Haaland

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Blombos Cave interior panorama view. Image courtesy of Magnus Haaland

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Archaeologists work inside the Blombos Cave in South Africa in 2008 when they discovered the100,000 year old toolkits. Christopher Henshilwood on right, Grethe Pedersen in foreground. Image: Science/AAAS

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Entrance to Blombos Cave. Image courtesy of Magnus Haaland

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Lead author Christopher Henshilwood excavates the 100,000 year-old levels at Blombos Cave. Image: Science/AAAS

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Karen van Niekerk excavates the toolkit with abalone shell in the 100,000 year-old levels at Blombos Cave in 2008. Image: Science/AAAS

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

The nacre and inside of the abalone shell after removal of the grindstone. The red deposit is the ochre rich mixture that was in the shell and preserved under a cobble grinder. Image courtesy of Grethe Moell Pedersen

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

The toolkit with abalone shell before excavation from the 100,000 year-old Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave in South Africa. Image: Science/AAAS

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Abalone shell-you can see some of the ochre rich deposit. Image: Science/AAAS

A Look Inside a 100,000-Year-Old Art StudioS

Karen van Niekerk and Grethe Moell Pedersen point to the 100,000-year-old abalone shell with ochre before recovery in 2008. Image courtesy of Christopher Henshilwood