Paleobotany

Because of clear signs that geophytes of the Calcareous Limestone fynbos was used by the early inhabitants of the region as a source of food (providing carbohydrates), scientists are currently carrying out a detailed study of the paleobotany of the region. Prof. Jan-Erik van Wyk of the University of Johannesburg, as well as Prof. Richard Cowling of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University are leading the work with the aid of an enthusiastic group of M- and D-students.

In addition to the identification of usable sources of food, attention is being given to the amount of energy required to collect the food and also to the amount of energy each food type provides. This research will help to clarify further details of the daily lives of early Homo sapiens in the region.

To make this work accessible to the public, the role of the Tuin-op-die-Brak as well as the proposed Fynbos and Archaeological Information Centre is essential. Visit the Tuin-op-die-Brak website at: www.dietuinopdiebrak.co.za.

Example of a digging stick used by Homo sapiens to gain access to geophytes
Example of a digging stick used by Homo sapiens to gain access to geophytes
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