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Israeli scholars find millions-year-old human traces in ‘Miracle’ Cave

“We can now say with confidence that our human ancestors were making simple Oldowan stone tools inside the Wonderwerk Cave 1.8 million years ago."

A group of scholars from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Toronto has unearthed traces of human activity dating back millions of years in the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert. The findings were published in the May issue of the Quaternary Science Reviews.

The cave, whose name means “miracle” in Afrikaans, offers some of the earliest evidence of the use of fire and tool production.

The new study employed paleomagnetism and burial dating to scan 2.5-meter-thick sedimentary layers containing ash and remains of animals, tools and fires.

“With a timescale firmly established for Wonderwerk Cave, we can continue studying the connection between human evolution and climate change and the evolution of our early human ancestors’ way of life,” the University of Toronto’s Prof. Michael Chazan and Liora Kolska Horwitz of Hebrew University’s National Natural History Collections said in a joint statement.

From an article in the Jerusalem Post

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