WONDERWERK CAVE

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE SPANNING 2 MILLION YEARS OF HUMAN LIFE
NORTHERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA

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In the dolomite rocks of the Kuruman Hills is one of South Africa’s archaeological treasures, which offers a glimpse into the very distant past. Translated from Afrikaans, Wonderwerk means ‘miracle’.

The cave itself extends some 139 metres into the earth, and preserves a record of almost two million years of human activity. Extensive archaeological work has been done at Wonderwerk, and research from this site has generated significant insights into Southern African human history, including what is known as ‘the oldest controlled fire’. Wonderwerk gives unique evidence and insights into how local humans lived many thousands of years ago during prehistoric hand axe times. Near the mouth of the cave, the walls are covered in paintings that feature a variety of animals include eland, elephant and ostriches. Wonderwerk is a South African National Heritage Site.

The Zamani Project have visited this site several times since the first spatial documentation in 2005 as a part of the Wonderwerk Cave Research Project, an interdisciplinary and international collaboration that was initiated to explore this and other early archaeological sites in the region. Other field campaigns to Wonderwerk were in 2010 and 2019.

>> Read more about the "Wonderwerk Cave Research Project"

3D Model of the Wonderwerk Cave

This model was created in 2010.

Panorama Tour

Panorama-Tour of
Wonderwerk

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