by Staff Writers
Edmonton, Canada (SPX) Dec 18, 2012
Willoughby says one of the fascinating things about Magubike is the presence of a large rock shelter with an intact overhanging roof. The excavations yielded unprecedented ancient artifacts and fossils from under this roof. Samples from the site date from the earliest stages of the middle Stone Age to the Iron Age. The earlier deposits include human teeth and artifacts such as animal bones, shells and thousands of flaked stone tools.
The team made similar findings at Mlambalasi, about 20 kilometres from Magubike. Among the findings at this site was a fragmentary human skeleton that probably dates to the late Pleistocene Ice Age-after the out-of-Africa expansion but at the end of the bottleneck period.
Along with its scientific significance, Willoughby's work may be a linchpin to potential economic growth for the region. Since 2005, when a local cultural officer showed her the sites, she has been sharing information about her research with local citizens, schools and government-opening up opportunities for more research and co-operation.