Wonderwerk Cave.. or Miracle Cave

I have not got the time to write out a long splurge of this site we discovered in our trip around the Northern Cape, but if you are ever between Danielskuil and Kuruman, do yourself a favour and visit the cave..

Thanks to Wikipedia..

Wonderwerk Cave is an archaeological site, formed originally as an ancient solution cavity in Dolomite rocks of the Kuruman Hills, situated between Danielskuil and Kuruman in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa. It is a National Heritage Site within a servitude ceded to and managed as a satellite of the McGregor Museum in Kimberley. Geologically, hillside erosion exposed the northern end of the cavity, which extends horizontally for about 140 m into the base of a hill. Accumulated deposits inside the cave, up to 7 m in depth, reflect natural sedimentation processes such as water and wind deposition as well as the activities of animals, birds and human ancestors over a period of some 2 million years. The site has been studied and excavated by archaeologists since the 1940s and research here generates important insights into human history in the subcontinent of Southern Africa. Evidence within Wonderwerk cave has been called the oldest controlled fire. Wonderwerk means “miracle” in the Afrikaans language.

Thanks to the Bulldog for the photos…

From the outside….


Just on the inside….


and this great big stalagmite…


the Bushman paintings are fascinating and even show an elephant.. so they must have roamed here in the past…



and now we go and have a look at some of the dig sites all they way down to the back of the cave…






62 thoughts on “Wonderwerk Cave.. or Miracle Cave

  1. I love this kind of natural wonder. My imagination really takes hold as I think about the bushmen painting their stories. I would love this site, I’m sure. In my mind it is always a celebration when archaeologists and anthropologists dedicate themselves to preserving these marvels and then share the story with the rest of us!

    • the paintings mean so much to me as I have had the honour of tracking with a few of the more modern bushmen and their skills are beyond belief… and to think their fore fathers were blogging stories for them so many years ago.. some of the paintings are estimated at 1000 years old… hard to believe, that they present day tribes can still relate the stories from the paintings…

  2. Just great. Seeing our past up close and personal (outstanding photography of course) to me is very moving. I agree with you those who search through the remains are so very diligent and careful as they uncover pieces of yesterday. The history of ourselves, fascinating indeed Bulldog, thank you!

    • Thank you.. I was surprised on what they can tell from the different seeds they find so deep within the soils… yet when you see the size of the seeds it’s phenomenal..

      • My understanding is the atmosphere was much much richer (with reference to oxygen) so I’m guessing the photosynthesis process may have been a stronger one during that time period. Just a guess though …

  3. We have visited many sites like these here in the US. We really love doing that, so really enjoyed what you have been doing. chances are I won’t make it that far So I will live it vicariously through you. Thanks for sharing ;O )

  4. I enjoyed this post. I’ve visited many caves and so far have always enjoyed the experience. Thank you for introducing me to one more, bulldog.


    • This was the first I’ve seen with all the diggings and found the findings and what they collect so interesting… who would have thought they go looking for seeds and beads etc…

    • A very interesting place .. specially when you see the size of the seeds and beads they find… good eye sight is a must, it all just looks like a heap of dust to me…

  5. I have mixed feelings about this – nothing like a completely natural cave to create a sense of wonder.
    The archaeologists may have added some useful knowledge, but at the same time they seem to have made a heck of a mess.

    • My bushman painting interpretation tells me it’s an elephant… you must have an imagination for these things.. LOL.. actually it is taken from an angle and not straight on which does tend to make it look like all sorts of things…

  6. Great to see this again bulldog. The last time we were there my camera wasn’t even a thought then. LOL! Great shots my friend. 🙂 *hugs*

  7. Painstaking work, but very interesting… the stalagmite looks like ‘Bigfoot’ to me, lol! Thanks so much for sharing this post with us, Bulldog!

  8. Amazing job those archaeologists does …. talk about having patience – and you have to be very light on your hand. Truly amazing – thanks for taking me down there.

  9. I have always been very interested in the history of humans and take every opportunity to watch documentaries on this subject. They say we started out in Africa, don’t they? If I was ever in Africa, this is exactly the type of place I would love to explore!

  10. How absolutely fascinating! I’ve always wanted to see a dig in progress, so your pics really speak to me!
    An elephant scratched into the cave wall…how unbelievable is that?! You sure have seen some incredible places, yeah?

    • The paintings on the wall are actually painted with a type of ochre paint… most fascinating… from there we were sent to a place called Bushman’s Hole (I’m going to post on it probably tomorrow) this was even more fascinating… a hole in the ground in the desert.. that the bottom of the water has not been fully reached but is estimated at 290 m deep. (890 ft)
      a couple of lives have been lost of divers trying to get to the bottom…

  11. morning bulldog, fascinating… in the dig pics – are they discovering dwellings down there? hidey holes, or was it a kind of library of pictures and so forth.. c

    • No they have found activity of residence from as far back as 10 500 years etc.. The associations of older engraved or striated pieces have yet to be substantiated… a very interesting place.. the paintings only go in about 40 metres.. but in one area they are going down quite deep with old fire places etc being found..

    • the bushman paintings always fascinate me.. to think it was their way of communicating what they had seen… we might just say it was an early form of blogging…

    • Thank you.. I was fascinated myself.. specially seeing some of the stuff they have found… and the way they dig this stuff out is so painfully slow, with little gavels and trowels and paint brushes… they have been busy since the 1940 and the people are from all over the world…

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