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Prehistoric Scratchpad

Cave (Taforalt or Grotte des Pigeons) in Morocco that could be North Africa's oldest burial site. Shell beads over 100,000 years old have also been found here.


100,000 Years Ago[]

The caves were occupied by the pre-Mausterian Aterian culture who produced some of the earliest stone beads.

Earlier History[]

  • 110 ka - Shell beads were produced by an early Aterian culture.

Later History[]

  • 85ka - The caves became occupied by the Aterian culture. Perforated marine shells date from this time.
  • 22.1 ka - Iberomaurusian occupation corresponds with appearance of microliths.
  • 15.1-14 ka - Processed burial occurred here. DNA samples would be taken from these remains, which showed the population was closely related to the Natufians on the Eastern Meditteranian, and present day west africans. Cooking in the cave became more frequent and the diet was greater. Starchy foods started causing tooth decay.
  • 12.6 ka - Iberomaurusian occupation ends

Modern History[]


Cave of Pigeons Web Pages[]


Cave of Pigeons In the News[]

Earlier Shell Beads Found (2009)[]

Starchy Foods Led to Rotten Teeth (Jan 2014)[]

DNA Samples from Oldest Cemetery (Mar 2018)[]


Virtual Tourism[]

Related Pages[]