BEFORE IT BECAME AN ISLAND
1300 - 1400
Rising and falling sea levels over the last 700 000 years changed the shape of the outcrop and 12 000 years ago the sea level rose and created a channel between the Island and the mainland. The sediments that form the current base rocks of Table Bay and Robben Island were laid down approximately 900-800 million years ago where an ancient river delta entered shallow coastal waters. Evidence of this process can be seen by the ripple marks on the base of the oldest quarry in the south of the Island. This bedrock is now known as the Tygerberg Formation of the Malmesbury Group.
ARCHAEOLOGY / PREHISTORY OF THE ISLAND
1380 - 1400
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.
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