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Cape Town Prehistory
(Page 3)
Human Evolution
Southern Africa rivals East Africa for the title 'cradle of humankind'. Discoveries at Sterkfontein, Taung and Makapa reveal that australopithecines (primitive forms of humans evolved from apes) were living in the region three and a half million years ago.

Discoveries from various stages of human evolution have been made in South Africa, including hand axes made by Homo Erectus 750,000 yeas ago in the vicinity of Cape Town, now on display in the Wellington Museum in the winelands.

But the oldest evidence of modern humans (Homo Sapien Sapiens) found anywhere in the world, was found in the region of Cape Town. In the 1960s Anthropologists dated bones of modern man found at Klasies River, on the coast between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, at 80,000 years old. In 1994 further discoveries at this cave were dated 100,000 years old.

On the Cape Peninsula at Fish Hoek, remains from Echo Cave have been dated to between 75,000 and 50,000 years, and rock art found there is as old as 28,000 years.

But the oldest record of all is of footprints made by a human woman near the lagoon at Langebaan - just north of Cape Town. These prints are dated at 117,000 years old and are called 'the footsteps of Eve'. They are on display at the SA Museum in Cape Town.

Further work is underway and more sites have been uncovered in recent years. According to this evidence, the first modern people that evolved lived around Cape Town.

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In this period of Cape History:


Table Mountain

Plant and Animal Evolution

Human Evolution

Bibliography & Contacts


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