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On a visit to Blombos in November, the cave looks like a war bunker, complete with a generator, lights and sandbags.
“Nobody believed us, because nobody had found a Still Bay site for 40 years.” The Middle Stone Age was not part of his thesis, so Henshilwood covered the site up and moved on.
Only in 1997 did he secure funding for a full excavation from the US National Science Foundation.
What he discovered was much more significant and far older: a series of bone tools and double-sided stone points that were clearly tied to the enigmatic Still Bay period.
“It was right over there,” he says, motioning to the back of the cave.
Hundreds of steel tabs mark strata on vertical walls of sediment.
While Henshilwood works on the cave's top layer, from 72,000 years ago, his partner and co-excavator, Karen van Niekerk, sifts through the bottom strata of sediments, which are roughly 100,000 years old.Multiple teams are now racing to determine the part climate might have played in driving human evolution during this period.Blombos Cave, with its detailed archaeological record of the Middle Stone Age, could become a key testing ground.Next come shells from local mussels and snails amid blackened soil and bits of charred wood, all remnants of an ancient feast.It was one of many enjoyed by a distinct group of early humans who visited Blombos Cave over the course of thousands of years.With Francesco d'Errico, an anthropologist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Bordeaux, Henshilwood has assembled a team of archaeologists, climate modellers and palaeoclimatologists for a five-year, €2.5-million (US.3-million) project to look at correlations between climate and culture during the eventful span of prehistory that includes Still Bay, and the beginnings of modern human behaviour.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating