Archaeological evidence suggest that early toolmakers lived in the Western Cape about 500 000 years ago. Ongoing archaeological research is still being conducted to confirm the presence of indigenous people on the Island before it was “discovered” by European explorers. Three (3) archaeological sites on the Island provide some insight into “life” on the Island before the 1400’s. Two of these sites are situated close to each other west of the Maximum Security Prison. The other is on the north-eastern part of the Island next to the Island’s Waste Management Plant. This site is below ground level. The sites on the western part of the Island contained stone tools (ephemeral stone artifact scatters) consisting of quartz irregular cores and flakes. This archaeological evidence suggests that early toolmakers lived in the Western Cape about 500 000 years ago.
It is also suggested that at this time, the Island and its environs (present day Table Bay) would have been grassy savannah inhabited by lion, antelope, hippopotamus, giant buffalo, extinct elephants and other smaller animals. Fossilised Eland and now extinct Rhebok bones (both mammals) was found in the north-eastern site.