Canteen Kopje: Cultural Heritage Under Threat
The deep archaeological deposits at Canteen Kopje, Pit 4 (photo K. Kuman).
Later Stone Age stone tools from Canteen Kopje (drawing from Forssman et al. 2010).
Victoria West tool and core, approximately one million years old (photo K. Kuman).
Acheulean bifacial tools, approximately 1 million year old (photo K. Kuman).
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Canteen Kopje has long been regarded as one of the richest archaeological sites for the early stage of human evolution in southern Africa. Already in the early 20th Century the site was visited by leading figures in prehistoric archaeology and the site remains the subject of an active program of excavation by an international team of researchers. As yet unpublished research suggests a basal date of some 2.3 million years.
A Later Stone Age assemblage has now been discovered in the Hutton Sands overlying the alluvial deposits. This materialmost closely resembles late Holocene Smithfield assemblages characterized by large scrapers and small endscrapers. The age of this occupation based on radiocarbon dates on charcoal and ostrich eggshell (OES) beads is between 60 and 300 years ago.