Apollo 11 Cave
|Apollo 11 Cave|
|Age||25,500 - 25,300 BCE|
The Apollo 11 Cave is an archeological site in the ǁKaras Region of south-western Namibia, approximately 250 km (160 mi) southwest of Keetmanshoop. The name given to the surrounding area and presumably the cave by the Nama people was “Goachanas”. However, the cave was given its name by German archaeologist Wolfgang Erich Wendt in reference to Apollo 11's then recent return to Earth [failed verification]
The cave contained some of the oldest pieces of mobile art ever discovered in southern Africa, associated with charcoal that was radiocarbon dated from 27,500 to 25,500 BP. The art slabs found in this cave are referred to as the Apollo 11 Stones. In total, seven grey-brown quartzite slabs were excavated from the cave.
Art was also found near the cave in the form of engravings on the banks of a riverbed and a large limestone boulder located 150 m (490 ft) from the cave. The engravings consisted of depictions of animals as well as simple geometric patterns.
It is hard to pinpoint dates of the engravings and paintings, but the paintings may belong to period as far back as 10,400 BP and the engravings may come from early settlers in the first millennium AD. These dates come from Wendt's stratigraphic record of the site as well as evidence from other sites in the surrounding area.
More recent finds include two rib pieces (one with 26 notches; the other with 12 notches) dated to 80,000 BP.
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- Ralf Vogelsang et al.: New Excavations of Middle Stone Age Deposits at Apollo 11 Rockshelter, Namibia: Stratigraphy, Archaeology, Chronology and Past Environments. Journal of African Archaeology 8 (2) 2010, pp. 185-218.