The discovery of the archaeology of Mossel Bay’s Pinnacle Point caves is of enormous significance for two reasons, says the discoverer Dr Peter Nilssen.
The 1st reason is the research revealed the earliest evidence for modern human behavior which includes the systematic harvesting of the sea, the use of ochre as a pigment, the development of complex tools, and the use of fire to anneal silcrete to produce a better quality of stone for the production of those tools
The 2nd reason is that fossilized isotopes found in dripstone formations formed when the caves were sealed off from the outside world provided civilization with a picture of the climate of the area over the period 30 000 to 400 000 years ago. Since the caves also have a record of 162 000 years of human occupation, this becomes the one place on earth where archaeologists can study how we have adapted to change of climate over long periods of time.
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