SA Post Office honours Blombos Cave

2014-02-28 14:01
An artefact found in the Blombos Cave. (Youtube)

An artefact found in the Blombos Cave. (Youtube)

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Cape Town - Artefacts that were collected by Professor Christopher Henshilwood from the Blombos Cave have been used by the South African Post Office in its new stamp collection.

The new stamps will be placed under the theme: Symbols of South African Cultures according to the University of the Witwatersrand.

Professor Henshilwood who works at Wits University discovered the Blombos Cave in 1991 in the Western Cape.

Henshilwood discovered various famous objects in the cave including: 75 000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells, two pieces of ochre engraved with abstract designs and 80 000-year-old bone tools

In announcing the new collection the Post Office described South Africa’s rich and diverse cultural history, explaining how various cultural groups have communicated their beliefs, values, customs and traditions. Such items include clothing, religious objects, and utensils.

Henshilwood in 2000 stated that the Blombos ochre represented evidence of the earliest symbolic behaviour of human beings

The Blombos Nassarius kraussianus shell beads according to Henshilwood were used to indicate age or status.

“I am delighted that they think that the Blombos artefacts are important enough to rank among the culture symbols of South Africa and that the Post Office made two special stamps that feature these artefacts. It is a great honour for our research team and for Wits and Bergen,” says Henshilwood.

In 2011 the SABC followed Henshilwood as he began excavating the artefacts from the Blombos Cave.

Read more on:    cape town  |  archaeology
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