The discovery at the Bizmoune cave, in the province of Essaouira, of elements of adornment highlighting the oldest symbolic human behavior, was in the spotlight during an information day organized on Tuesday in the City of Trade Winds.
Initiated by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication, the Essaouira-Mogador Association and Essaouira Innovation Lab, this meeting, marked by the participation of an audience of Moroccan and foreign researchers and archaeologists, as well as actors from various horizons, was the opportunity to shed light on this major discovery of 32 shaped shells of marine gastropods in a level dating from 142,000 to 150,000, by an international team from the National Institute of Sciences of Archeology and Heritage (INSAP), the University of Arizona (Tucson, USA) and the Mediterranean Laboratory of Prehistory Europe Africa (CNRS, LAMPEA, Aix-en-Provence, France).
Speaking on this occasion, André Azoulay, Counselor to the King and founding president of the Essaouira-Mogador Association, declared “that these are the first signs of humanity showing the existence of structured relationships. between members of the same group or of different groups, this ornament illustrating for the first time and in its own way the existence of a form of language, even of a language, at the time of Homo-Sapiens “, While highlighting the place which is now that of Morocco since Essaouira in the” formidable history of the Earth and Humanity “.
For his part, the director of cultural heritage at the Ministry of Culture, Youssef Khiara, highlighted the scope and importance of this particular discovery, informing that the supervisory department is looking into the preparation of the application file. of the Bizmoune site alongside others across the Kingdom, for their inclusion on the UNESCO list of prehistoric sites.
Presenting this study, Abdelajalil Bouzouggar, professor at INSAP, indicated that Essaouira has been a densely populated territory for thousands of years, highlighting the important deposit that this part of the national territory conceals in terms of heritage and crucial information on the origin of human symbolic behavior.
Abdelajalil Bouzouggar, who co-directed the research at the Bizmoune cave, reviewed the main conclusions of this discovery and its implications, explaining that this study has shown that the region has a varied flora dating back 150,000 years. and a very rich fossil fauna.
“By using and disseminating objects of adornment, Homo sapiens in Bizmoune wrote for the first time 150,000 years ago, a large part of the history of the symbolic behavior of all mankind,” he said. he says.
For Philippe Fernandez, researcher at the CNRS in France, “the paleo-ecological context of the Bizmoune levels plays an extremely important role in animal evolution and the occupation of the cave”.
For his part, Steve Kuhn, professor at the University of Arizona, affirmed that “these findings show us that the words of social character of these humans were developing. They were surely learning to interact and even to cooperate with different peoples ”, noting that Essaouira is“ known as a place where various peoples lived in peace and the evidence from Bizmoune tells us that this was probably the case 150,000 years ago “.
At the end of this meeting, a guided visit was organized to the Bizmoune cave, located in Jbel Hdid, where research and excavations are continuing.