Vredefort During the Stone Age

© David Fleminger

Later Stone Age

With the famous Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site located only a 100 km away in the north of Vredefort, it can be safely assumed that humans have been present in the Dome area for a long time, perhaps even millions of years. Thus far, however, no early hominid fossils have been found in the Vredefort region.

Our species’ direct involvement with the Dome can only be traced back to the Later Stone Age (between 25 000 and 20 000 years ago). The evidence for this habitation is quite sparse, since the area has not enjoyed a significant number of archaeological excavations.

Nevertheless, assemblies of stone tools have been found on the banks of the Vaal, near the Schoemansdrift bridge, and on the farm Parson’s Rus.

The tools include blades, hand axes, scrapers and flake tools. A cave on the farm Buffelskloof also contains evidence of periodic human habitation, and may have been used well into the iron-age. Several Bushman rock art sites have also been identified.

By David Fleminger