The Edge: More on Fire-Making by about 1.7 Million Years Ago at Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa

  title={The Edge: More on Fire-Making by about 1.7 Million Years Ago at Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa},
  author={Peter Beaumont},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  pages={585 - 595}
  • P. Beaumont
  • Published 1 August 2011
  • Environmental Science
  • Current Anthropology
Located close to the Kalahari in central South Africa is a large dolomitic cave called Wonderwerk, in the stratified sediments of which there is evidence for fire-making that ranges from the end of the Later Stone Age to the very base of the Acheulean. That discovery is seen to be in accord with findings from four other regional sites, which together provide evidence that can be construed as support for fire-making over almost the same time span. 
Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa
Micromorphological and Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy analyses of intact sediments at the site of Wonderwerk Cave provide unambiguous evidence—in the form of burned bone and ashed plant remains—that burning took place in the cave during the early Acheulean occupation, approximately 1.0 Ma.
A comprehensive review of the pre-Holocene palaeoart evidence from sub-Saharan Africa is presented. The scant figurative component appears to be entirely confined to the Later Stone Age. Beads and
Past and Present at Wonderwerk Cave (Northern Cape Province, South Africa)
The Northern Cape Province and neighboring North West Province (Bokone Bophirima) of South Africa provided the first scientific evidence for the centrality of Africa for hominin evolution. In the
Pleistocene Palaeoart of Africa
This comprehensive review of all currently known Pleistocene rock art of Africa shows that the majority of sites are located in the continent's south, but that the petroglyphs at some of them are of
Chauvet Cave rock art by ‘Neanderthals’
The attribution of the rock art in Chauvet Cave to the Aurignacian and the challenges to its dating are reviewed. Similarly, the dominant view that the palaeoart of the Early Upper Palaeolithic
The Acheulian Site at Rodafnidia, Lisvori, on Lesbos, Greece: 2010–2012
Rodafnidia is an Acheulian site on Lesbos Island, in the north-east Aegean Sea. This chapter presents the model that guided Paleolithic investigations on the island, the history of research, and the
Pleistocene Micromammals and Their Predators at Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa
It is concluded from the taphonomic evidence that the main predator responsible for the small mammal assemblages in the two lower-most strata at the site, was a category 1 predator, likely the barn owl Tyto alba.


On a timescale for the past million years of human history in central South Africa : research article
Located between Danielskuil and Kuruman in the Northern Cape province of South Africa is Wonderwerk Cave, where excavations from 1978 to 1996 revealed a ~6-m depth of deposits made up of nine
Evidence from the Swartkrans cave for the earliest use of fire
During recent excavations of hominid-bearing breccias in the Swartkrans cave altered bones were recovered from Member 3 (about 1.0–1.5 Myr BP) which seemed to have been burnt. We examined the
Damaliscus niro horns from Wonderwerk Cave and other Pleistocene sites: morphological and chronological considerations
Wonderwerk Cave, situated near Kuruman in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, has yielded well-preserved horns of many antelope, including three horn fragments of Damaliscus niro. These
Continual fire-making by Hominins at Gesher Benot Ya‘aqov, Israel
Dated Rock Engravings from Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa
Radiocarbon dates associated with engraved stones from sealed archeological deposits at Wonderwerk Cave in the northern Cape Province indicate that rock engraving in South Africa is at least 10,000
Evidence of Hominin Control of Fire at Gesher Benot Ya`aqov, Israel
The presence of burned seeds, wood, and flint at the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya`aqov in Israel is suggestive of the control of fire by humans nearly 790,000 years ago. The distribution of the