Wonderwerk Cave: 10 June 2012

Wonderwerk Cave is located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, near Kuruman in the Kalahari Desert. The cave is a National Heritage Site and is open to the public for tours. Wonderwerk Cave has been studied extensively by archaeologists since the 1940s and has yielded quite a bit of material including Early, Middle, and Late Stone Age tools, decorative objects like beads, cave art, and possible evidence of the earliest controlled use of fire. The history of hominin use of the cave spans ~1 million years, with the cave art being relatively recent (~1000-10,000 years) and evidence of use of fire ~1 Ma.

The cave art depicts elephants, giraffes, ostriches, secretary birds, and various bovids. There is even a ‘chongololo’ (millipede)!

The cave has a long, low ceiling and extends back into the hill about 140 meters.

Excavations are still ongoing, and the majority of the cave is marked by an excavation grid:

View of the Kalahari from the hill above the cave:

-KL Lewton

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