Early Homo sapiens created these symbolic objects between 60,000 and 30,000 years ago. Using natural materials and creativity, they combined animal and human features into fantastical creatures and fashioned instruments for making music.
Part of an ancient necklace, these 30,000-year-old shells from Cro-Magnon, France represent some of the earliest evidence of humans wearing jewelry. Some shells have traces of ocher, a clue they were colored with pigment.
Handaxes -- multipurpose tools used to chop wood, butcher animals, and make other tools -- dominated early human technology for more than a million years. Left to right: Africa (1.6 million years old), Asia (1.1 million years old), and Europe (250,000 years old).
The antelope will provide nutritious meat and marrow for this early human female and her social group. Homo erectus butchered animals using simple stone tools like the handaxe here. The ability to scavenge and hunt large animals helped this species survive as it spread to new environments.