Imagine standing in a cave, where some 160,000 years ago it is thought that cavemen transformed into modern human beings through the evolution of cognitive and spiritual abilities. Where you can just bend down and pick up fossils and tools that are thousands and thousands of years old. Sounds like science fiction? Well, it is not. What it is though, is an unforgettable experience that leaves you filled with awe. At the Point of Human Origins in Mossel Bay, you can visit these ancient and hugely important caves together with an archaeologists who explains the importance and meaning of what you see.
It was long thought that modern human behaviour (especially cognitive and motor skills, and spirituality) first evolved in Europe and Asia some 50,000 years ago. However, recent finds such as tools, rock art and evidence of pyrotechnology on the southernmost coast of Africa suggest that the shift from cave men to modern humans took place here some 100,000 years earlier than in Eurasia. It’s mindblowing, isn’t it!?
We visited the Point of Human Origins as part of the South African Tourism and iAmbassador hosted #MeetSouthAfrica campaign, and I warmly recommend it. The talk and subsequent visit to the caves (where you walk down 175 steps to discover 162,000 years of our origins) is not just about old rocks. It is also an engaging and emotional journey into our origins, and how we fit into the world we live in (or not as you will discover is often the case these days). Oh, and you get to feel like an intrepid time traveller while exploring the ancient fossils deep in the caves!