The world's earliest known piece of jewelry has been found by archaeologists, who say the 150,000-year-old beads may have been worn as earrings or on a necklace.

A set of 33 shell beads were discovered between 2014 and 2018 at the mouth of Bizmoune Cave, about 10 miles from Essaouira, a city on Morocco's Atlantic coast.

The beads date to between 142,000 and 150,000 years ago and were found by a team, including anthropologists, from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

The beads uncovered by Steven L. Kuhn and his collaborators were made from sea snail shells, and each measures roughly half an inch long.

The beads are like many others found at sites throughout northern and southern Africa, but previous examples date back to no older than 130,000 years.

Ancient beads from North Africa are associated with the Aterian, a Middle Stone Age culture known for its distinctive stemmed spear points, whose people hunted gazelles, wildebeest, warthogs and rhinoceros, among other animals.

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