Cave of Hearths (Makapansgat)

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Site type:
-24.14, 29.19
South Africa
Date range max:
700,000 Bp
Date range min:
400,000 Bp
Hominini, Homo sapiens
Potgietersrus, South Africa - panoramio (6) - Cave of Hearths, Makapangsat

Potgietersrus, South Africa - panoramio (6) - Cave of Hearths, Makapangsat

The Cave of Hearths is close to the Historic Cave complex and preserves a remarkably complete record of human occupation from Early Stone Age "Acheulian" times in the oldest sediments through the Middle Stone Age, the Later Stone Age and up to the Iron Age. European relics from the 19th century, such as brass ware and musket balls were found at the surface when excavations started. The site was re-excavated and re-analysed as part of the 'Makapan Middle Pleistocene Research Project' run by the University of Liverpool (UK) between 1996 and 2001. This work has shown that coloured sediment horizons in the Early Stone Age levels are not from fire use. A Homo mandible also recovered from these layers may also represent one of the earliest representatives of Homo sapiens.