10 January 2013

Mossel Bay’s Pinnacle Point is now a Provincial Heritage Site

The archaeological sites at Pinnacle Point, a small promontory south of Mossel Bay in South Africa, have been declared Provincial Heritage Sites. The sites, especially the site called Cave 13B, have revealed some of the earliest evidence for modern human behaviour, such as systematic exploitation of marine resources (shellfish), the first use of fire for heat treatment and the earliest use of pigments. Excavations have revealed occupation by Middle Stone Age at Pinnacle Point people between 170,000 and 40,000 years ago.

Pinnacle Point, which is one of only three African sites containing artefacts of human occupation older than 120,000 years, is also one of six South African sites making up a proposed nomination for recognition as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco). An application to have the site also proclaimed as a National Heritage Site is expected to be made soon.

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