Discover the earliest forms of art and technology
The cave at Cape St Blaize, above the area’s lighthouse, is the site of some of South Africa’s first archaeological excavations, by George Leith in 1888. This was followed by more explorations in 1889 and the 1920s and, more recently, parts of the cave were explored by scientists as part of the major Mossel Bay Archaeology Project (studying the archeological finds at various Southern Cape sites).
Containing deposits dating back to the Middle Stone Age, the cave has – like those at Pinnacle Point and Blombos – yielded evidence for ancient exploitation of marine resources such as shellfish; the earliest evidence of using pigments and symbolism; and proof that early humans used heat to make stone tools.
Pause your road trip here to see the cave for yourself, and pause to consider this: genetic research has shown that all people alive today stem from a core population of about 600 humans who lived about 165 000 years ago. The evidence suggest that these early ancestors lived here, in the Mossel Bay area, in the Western Cape’s Cradle of Human Culture.