Discover the earliest forms of art and technology
Blombos Cave is a world-famous archeological site, overlooking the sea and located in a private nature reserve not open to the public. Archaeologists have uncovered some of the first evidence of symbolism, cognitive thinking and technological advancement, traits used to define modern human behaviour. This site was occupied during the Middle Stone Age between 100 0000 and 70 000 years ago, although earlier occupation may still be identified as the archaeological excavations proceed. The site was first excavated in 1992, it is currently undergoing excavation and it will continue to be excavated possibly for another decade. Specific findings include a piece of engraved ochre, which is the first known ochre engraving found in the archaeological record and dated to 75 000 years ago; “the oldest artist’s toolkit”, which is evidence of a 100 000-year-old ochre-processing workshop; “the oldest drawing (or hashtag)” dated to 73 000 years ago and some of the first evidence of body decoration, in the form of perforated estuarine shell beads. Blombos Cave was declared a Provincial Heritage Site in 2015 and it is currently on the tentative serial nomination list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is expected to be declared a World Heritage Site within the next few years.
While the site is closed to the public, the small Blombos Museum of Archaeology in Still Bay offers visitors with the possibility of exploring some of the fascinating findings of this site. The exhibition is in the process of being modernized.
For more information on the area, please visit; www.explorersgardenroute.co.za