Outing to Wonderboompoort Acheulean Site in Pretoria
Dr Matt Caruana
Sat, 15/07/2023 - 10:00
Outing to Wonderboompoort Acheulean Site in Pretoria
Tour guide: Dr Matt Caruana
Date: SATURDAY, 15 July 2023
Time: 10:00 for 10:30
Meet at: Friends of Magalies Park parking lot
Duration: Roughly 3 hours
Charge: Members R85, Non-members R130
Booking: Please email Anne Raeburn on anner@mweb.co.za to book
Bring: Wear comfortable walking shoes – we will only walk for a short distance, water, hat, sunblock, picnic lunch and folding chairs.

Information about the Wonderboompoort Acheulean Site
The Acheulean stone tool assemblage from Wonderboom represents the largest collection of handaxes, cleavers and knives currently known from the area surrounding the UNESCO ‘Cradle of Humankind’ World Heritage Site. Wonderboom is comprised of colluvial accumulation of sediments and artefacts that was first systematically by Revil Mason in 1960. Mason’s initial interpretations of the site suggested it was a later Acheulean occupation (~800 thousand years old) that was linked to the local ‘Wonderboompoort’ (an erosional gap in the mountains) ~2km to the west, where early humans possibly engaged in ambush hunting of migrating animals. In 2022, Drs Matt Caruana and Matt Lotter, in collaboration with Prof. Marlize Lombard, began a re-investigation of the Acheulean deposits at Wonderboom where active excavations will run until 2024. The tour of the Wonderboom Acheulean site will include an in-depth look at the sedimentary deposit and stone tool artefacts found and excavated over the last two years. A broader discussion on the potential links between tool use and the larger landscape will bring context to the occupation of the Wonderboom valley by our ancient ancestors, and their cognitive abilities and social lives 

Our guide:
Matthew V. Caruana is a lecturer in the Palaeo-Research Institute at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. He received a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000, an MA in archaeology from the University of Manchester, England and a PhD in archaeology from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa in 2015. His primary research interest is in the Earlier Stone Age archaeology of South Africa, focusing on stone tool production and landscape use patterns, and has conducted field work at numerous Plio-Pleistocene sites including Swartkrans Cave, Sterkfontein Cave, Drimolen Cave, Amanzi Springs, Barberspan, Maropeng, the Taung World Heritage Site, as well as in the Koobi Fora Formation in Kenya. He is currently the principal investigator of the Wonderboom Acheulean Site in the UNESCO Magaliesberg International Biosphere Reserve, and co-investigator of Swartkrans Cave (Gauteng Province) and Amanzi Springs (Eastern Cape Province).
Click here for the Google Maps pin for 'Wonderboom Lapa' or see the hyperlink below.
Driving direction:
N1 North, OFF on the R513 exit, turn LEFT (West)
Turn LEFT on R101 (South)
Follow the road left and merge onto the M5
Travel through the pass and turn LEFT onto De Beer St.
Take first LEFT onto 9th Ave.
Travel to the top of the road (to a T-junction), turn LEFT onto Lombard Rd.
Take the U-bend and pass by Die Hoerskool Wonderboom.
Go straight, find the concrete driveway leading North, into the nature reserve.
Turn RIGHT at the split.
Carry on and see the parking lot within the 'Friends of Magalies' park.