It pays to keep one’s eyes open on Excelsior. Peter has a nice little collection of ancient stone tools dating back thousands of years – something that really gives one a feel for the age of this part of the world and how we are really all connected.
These crude tools date back to the era of the Homo Ergaster, or “Working Man”, a hominid species that roamed eastern and Southern Africa between 1.9 and 1.4 million years ago. This “Working Man” had thinner skull bones, a smaller dental arcade and larger cranial capacity than the Homo Erectus, or “Upright Man”. Outside of South Africa, remains of this species has also been found in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya. The title “Working Man” was given due to the discovery of tools like the ones found on Excelsior and it’s part of the reason this species is distinctly set apart from other human ancestors.
Charred animal bones in fossil deports also suggest that this species made use of fire and used camps, like we find at the famous Blombos, as the crow flies not 80 km from Excelsior. It is a limestone cave in the Still Bay area in the Southern Cape and it was discovered in 1991. Here we find bone tools, beads made from shells and evidence of fishing and communal eating.