Discover the earliest forms of art and technology
Make your way to the spectacular Robberg Nature Reserve to track some fascinating archaeological discoveries at Nelson Bay Cave. The site preserves archaeological materials from the Middle and Later Stone Age and thus dates from more than 40 000 years ago up to recent San occupation.
Artefacts ranging from Middle Stone Age tools to 2 000-year-old pottery, graves containing human remains buried in a fetal position and decorated with shells and ochre, and many more cultural finds have been found in the cave. The site has a spectacular record that documents changes in the environment during glacial and interglacial conditions and illustrates how the sea level during the glacial period was much lower than today exposing the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain, now submerged. As the glacial ice melted around 12 000 years ago, that landscape was obliterated and the coast moved to its current position right next to the cave.
Nelson Bay cave was first excavated in the 1960s, and the results showed that the diet of the early humans who lived here comprised of food ranging from birds, eggs and plants to shellfish, as well as seals and bush pigs.
Access to the site is from inside the nature reserve, about 8km from the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay. Set aside enough time to explore the cave and its beautiful surrounds.
For more information, please visit www.capenature.co.za