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David Choe, Facebook graffiti artist, strikes it rich from IPO (VIDEO)

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Oldest "art studio" discovered in South Africa's Blombos Cave

Ancient paint supplies discovered in a South African cave is evidence of the oldest known art production workshop, dating back to 100,000 years ago, according to a study published in Science.
South africa cave 10 13 2011Enlarge
Visitors look at stalactites at the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn, north of the South African city of George. Researchers have discovered what they believe may be the remnants of an ancient art studio, at Blombos Cave on South Africa's southern Cape Coast. (TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The oldest known art studio has been discovered in South Africa's Blombos Cave by archeologists excavating the artifact-rich site.

The discovery of ancient paint supplies, dating back to 100,000 years ago, is evidence of the oldest known art production workshop, according to a study published in the journal Science.

Scientists found bright red pigment, called ochre, inside two abalone shells in the cave, which is located along South Africa's Southern Cape coast, about 185 miles east of Cape Town. Researchers described the finding, which also includes bone, charcoal, grindstones, and hammer stones, as a "production toolkit."

"The conceptual ability to source, combine and store substances that enhance technology or social practices represents a benchmark in the evolution of complex human cognition," the researchers wrote.

"The application of the mixture is unknown, but possibilities include decoration and skin protection."

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Blombos Cave is a famous archeological site dating to the African Middle Stone Age, with the earliest findings said to be from 140,000 years ago. Scientists have found a diverse range of artifacts at the limestone cave, from 70,000-year-old pieces of ochre to beads and bone tools.

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Booker long list announced

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Stolen Picasso recovered and NJ man arrested (VIDEO)

A man walked into a gallery in San Francisco, removed the 1965 drawing from the wall and then drove away in a taxi, and less than 48 hours later the drawing is recovered and a suspect is in custody
Picasso grabEnlarge
A 1965 Picasso pencil drawing, entitled "Tete de femme," was stolen from the Weinstein Gallery. (ABC News/Screengrab)

A Picasso drawing worth about a quarter of a million dollars that was stolen from a gallery in San Francisco on Tuesday has been recovered in Napa, California and a suspect arrested, police officials announced Thursday, according to CNN.

A man walked into the Weinstein Gallery in San Francisco on Tuesday, removed the 1965 pencil drawing by Pablo Picasso, entitled "Tete de femme," from the wall, casually walked out with it under his arm and left the area in a taxi, ABC News reported. Unfortunately for him, he was caught on video with the framed artwork. A New Jersey man, 30-year-old Mark Lugo, was taken into custody when he was tracked down and the drawing was found in his room in Napa.

Bail was set at $5 million and the suspect has been charged with theft and possession of stolen property, according to BBC News.

According to the Associated Press:

"I've had some sleepless nights," said Rowland Weinstein, who owns the Weinstein Gallery. "I feel very, very lucky and very relieved that the Picasso wasn't harmed and will be returned back safely.

The Picasso was recovered and Lugo arrested on Wednesday night, less than 48 hours after the drawing was stolen, in an investigation that was aided by a video surveillance tape from a nearby restaurant and information from the cab driver who drove the suspect away from the gallery. The video, which showed a man matching witnesses' descriptions carrying a framed artwork, came from Lefty O'Douls, a restaurant on the block, according to ABC News:

"I couldn't believe I got that lucky to get a picture of him," said Nick Bovis, the owner of Lefty O'Douls. "You know this guy here walked right in the middle of the day, took a Picasso, walked down the street and jumped in a cab."

Surveillance video from the taxi that drove the man away was also used to identify the suspect.

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