Unexpected Stone Age Find in South Africa
Posted: Friday, September 2, 2005
By Michael Wines, nytimes.com
Serendipity struck scientists touring a visitors center under construction at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, a complex area of caves north of Johannesburg that are home to the highest concentration of remains of mankind's earliest known ancestors.
While being shown a retail area under construction, archaeologists spotted a trove of Stone Age tools and artifacts lying in a seam of gravel unearthed just 20 inches below the surface.
The discovery, which filled three boxes with stone axes, knives, cleavers and other tools said to be between 500,000 and 1.8 million years old, was a "huge surprise to all of us," said Rob King, the chief executive of Maropeng Africa, the company that will manage the visitors center, which is scheduled to open in December.
Send page by E-Mail