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The museum has recently opened a new exhibition 'The Story of the Great Brak River Village People' and is a look at where we come from. This starts at the South African Coastal Corridor and begins 200,000 years ago.

Media Release. Mossel Bay Tourism. 18 October 2012

Human origins exhibit opens in Mossel Bay. Mossel Bay's Great Brak River Museum has opened a new exhibition that explores human origins with specific emphasis on how the history of the last 200,000 years has impacted on the local community.

It was designed by Mr. de Kock and Dr. Nick Walker, an archaeologist who serves on the·board of Heritage Mossel Bay.

"The SACP4 Project - also known as the Mossel Bay Archaeology Project - has shown that modern human behaviour probably emerged here, in the Mossel Bay area, 164,000 years ago," said Mr. de Kock. "But the archaeological sites are sensitive, and not yet accessible to the public, so we felt that we had to provide some way of introducing locals and visitors to the amazing story that's unfolding in our area."

The SACP4 Project (South African Coastal Palaeoclimate, Palaeoenvironment, Palaeoecology, and Palaeoanthropology) was created to study the finds in the Pinnacle Point Caves - about 40 km west of Great Brak River, but also within Mossel Bay's municipal area - and now includes about 50 scientists from around the world. In 2007, the leader of the Project, Professor Curtis Marean, announced that the Caves had revealed probably the earliest evidence for modern human behaviour - the systematic harvesting of the sea, the use of ochres for colouring, and the development of the first complex tools.

Mr. de Kock said that the Museum receives only limited funding, which meant that the exhibition had to be created with a very modest budget. "So we decided to tell stories," he said, "and to do this, we developed a series of panels that examine different aspects of human history - like man's early migrations, the stone ages in South Africa (with particular reference to the middle stone age in the Mossel Bay area, and the late stone age in Great Brak itself), as well as the history of the Khoe and San people of the area."

He pointed out that the SACP4 Project is significant for a second reason: fossilised isotopes in the roofs of the Pinnacle Point Caves have revealed a climatic timeline that stretches back to more than 400,000 years ago.

Mr. de Kock said that by learning what people were doing in the caves and comparing this information with their knowledge of the climate at the time, the scientists can make assumptions about how human behaviour has changed with as the climate has changed - which is vitally important for us in the 21st Century.

Mossel Bay Tourism's Marcia Holm congratulated the Board of the Great Brak River Museum on the opening of the exhibition.

"The archaeology of Mossel Bay is gaining more and more attention around the world at the same time as we're seeing the emergence of a new type of tourism - which Smithsonian magazine has dubbed 'evotourism'." (Smithsonian·is the monthly magazine of the USA's Smithsonian Institution.)

"More and more people are travelling to see places like The Cradle of Humankind here in South African, and Olduvai Gorge in East Africa, and we believe that Mossel Bay will soon take its place as one of the most significant evotourism destinations in the world.

"As we open up more and more attractions around the local archaeology, people will begin to design safaris across multiple destinations and countries in Africa that will explore more than 4 million years of human evolution - and all of them will culminate in Mossel Bay, where the human race began its amazing 164,000 year journey into modern technology.

"The Great Brak River Museum exhibition is the first step in developing ourselves as an evotourism destination, and for this we have to thank René and his board," she said.

More information:

Mossel Bay www.visitmosselbay.co.za and www.facebook.com/visitmosselbay



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The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry reports that during the last week in July 2017, our Wolwedans dam water level was more than 79 % full.

On the 10th March 2011, after a severe local drought water restrictions were eventually lifted. Whilst we have had fairly good rains since then, the remainder of the Western Cape is experiancing heavy drought conditions.

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