Earliest human bedding didn’t let the bedbugs bite

Michael Marshall

After a hard day hunting and gathering, humans 77,000 years ago could count on a good night’s mosquito-free sleep on a comfy bed of grass and leaves. Archaeologists have discovered the oldest evidence of humans using plant bedding, 50,000 years before it appears anywhere else.

Many animals make beds for themselves, says lead author Lyn Wadley of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, but what’s interesting in the new find is the way the owners managed their bedding. To keep it clean and pest-free, they burned it.

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