Who made the first jewelry?

No doubt about it, we all love jewelry! But where did it all begin?

As far as we know, the first jewelry we are aware of wasn’t even created by ‘human’ (homo sapien). Rather, by Neanderthal living in Europe. Recently, archaeologists excavated 100,000 year-old beads, made from Nassarius shells, are considered to be the oldest known jewelry.

Ancient beads made from seashells, appx 100,000 years old.

At approximately 100,000-year-old, these shells were discovered in Israel and Algeria. This discovery suggests that modern human forms of behavior, such as language, developed earlier than previously thought. The thought process involved in making jewelry involves communication, perhaps trade, perhaps a sense of status, recognition of beauty, and so on.

There is no way to know for sure why these beads were made, who wore them and why, but if these shells could talk, I would have a lot to ask them!