Since 2004 the Wonderwerk Cave Research Project, comprising South African researchers and those from overseas, has been actively engaged in archaeological research in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The project is co-directed by Michael Chazan (University of Toronto) and Liora Kolska Horwitz (Hebrew University) with the collaboration of David Morris, Head of Archaeology at the McGregor Museum Kimberley. Concurrently the team is excavating at Wonderwerk Cave and on the sites of the Kathu Complex. This mosaic set of sites, is enabling us to learn about the peoples more..
Why is Wonderwerk Cave so Important to Archaeologists?
Wonderwerk Cave is the oldest known cave occupation in the world. This remarkable site preserves and intact sequence of sediments that accumulated very gradually over a period stretching back almost two million years. This sequence incorporates stone tools, animal bones, and botanical materials that provide evidence for shifts in the activity and the ecological context of our early human ancestors and the recent communities that lived in this region. We can think of Wonderwerk Cave as one of the great archives in the world, preserving fragile evidence of our history reaching far back into the past.
Detailed geological research has produced some of the earliest known evidence for the use of fire by humans in a context dated to approximately one million years ago. Our research today is geared to understand how early humans used fire and whether they were able to produce fire.
Microscopic fragment of wood ash from Wonderwerk Cave more...