- first string/rope - neanderthal 90,000 year old. http://www.newscientist.com/article/...l#.Uvfld_ldUYk
- first paint, red ochre - Iron oxide is one of the most common minerals found on earth, and there is much evidence that yellow and red ochre pigment was used in prehistoric and ancient times by many different civilizations on different continents. Pieces of ochre engraved with abstract designs have been found at the site of the Blombos Cave in South Africa, dated to around 75,000 years ago
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PotteryPottery originates during the Neolithic period. Ceramic objects like the Gravettian culture Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine discovered in the Czech Republic date back to 29,000–25,000 BC, and pottery vessels discovered in Jiangxi, China date back to 20,000 BP. Early Neolithic pottery has also been found in Jomon Japan (10,500 BC), the Russian Far East (14,000 BC), Sub-Saharan Africa and South America.
- needle - A variety of archaeological finds illustrate sewing has been present for thousands of years. The earliest bone needle dates to 61,000 BC and was discovered inSibudu Cave, South Africa.
- stone structure - Gobekli Tepe? 11 k years ago. There is a claim that place in south Africa had some stone structure (Adam's Calendar) dating to 75k BP, though I couldn't find anything scientific to make it "real".
The oldest actuall bow fragments come from Europe (8,000BC). Although I find it very likely, looking at small arrowheads, that they were used for arrows shot with bows, which judging by age wouldn't survive being made of wood.
Looking at these first inventions, there is quite a bunch coming from South Africa. Most likely more to come from their sites.