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The Lighthouse Cave Virtual Cache

Hidden : 07/26/2019
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   virtual (virtual)

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Geocache Description:

The Cape St Blaize Caves are situated in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, South Africa.

The caves are a popular place for whale and dolphin watching and the approach to the cave is also the starting point of the St Blaize Hiking Trail. The most interesting fact about the caves however, is that they are an important archeological site.

Found in the cliffs just below the Cape St Blaize Lighthouse, visitors can explore the caves freely where once only scientists worked. They have revealed middens used by the San and Khoekhoek people from 200 000 years ago through to the pre-colonial age, before 1488.

The Caves has been the site of many archeological studies including that of George Leith’s studies in 1888 where he found important aspects of the study of the Middle Stone Age in the Mossel Bay area. His studies here were one of South Africa’s earliest scientific archeological excavations. After George Leith, other Archeologists like T. Rupert Jones and John Goodwin also led further excavations here, into the studies of Middle Stone Age in the area.


Early days:

Leith has noted in his first findings of the cave below the Lighthouse in mossel Bay that the sandstone rock recedes inwardly, forming a semi-circular recess or cave, with a radius of 15 feet.  When he first visited the cave, the floor was level.  The dark soil of sand and wood ashes was littered with the shells of large edible molluscs, fragments of stone from the roof, flakes of quartzite, broken bones and sea-worn pebbles.  It could only be reached by scrambling up a very steep talus of rubbish, at the risk of slipping downwards into the deep water or from the top by a more dangerous path.  The mussels on the rocks immediately below supplied the inhabitants of the cave with food and the drip from the roof supplied the water.


Later Days:

Upon his secnond visit to what Leith called the Lighthouse Cave, he found a great change has taken place.  So much of the rock has been quarried out for building purposes that access to the cave had become easy.  Access was so easy that farmers and town-people had sifted out a great deal of the cave-earth, and carried it our as manure for their gardens.  The sifting consisted mainly of quartzite chips, shells and fragments of the roof, much of what lied on the cave floor, while cartloads had been thrown over the edge and into the sea below.


Towards the outer-edges of the semi-circle where the roof was only a foot or two high, was undisturbed masses of deposit.  It was in these that Leith found very fine skinning-knives of quartzite, some even as long as 5 to 6 inches and veryy thin.  The prevailing type of implement was the knife-like or leaf-shaped flake implement, with two cutting edges, terminating in a sharp point opposite to the bulb of percussion.  These may be classified into arrow-tips, javelin-points, club-spikes and other varieties.


Source: Leith, G and Jone, T.R (1899), On the Caves, Shell-Mounds and Stone Implements of South Africa, The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 28, no. 3/4, pp.258-274



1.  According to the sign at the Trailhead at the bottom of the St Blaize Cave:  What is the estimated duration of the St Blaize Hiking Trail and what is the grading of the hiking trail? (Send answer to CO - please do not post answer)

2.  Lets have some fun: Take a silhoutte photo of you in the mouth of the cave.  Be creative.  Use the light as best you can (Include in your log)

3.   When you stand in the cave and you look to your left, you look onto a War Memorial.  Take a photo with anything indicating the date of your visit, with this memorial in the background (Include in your log)

4.  Identify the direction that the red arrow is pointing in, when you stand at the entrance to the War Memorial (Send answer to CO - please do not post answer)

You have 30 days from the date of your log to post the required photos and send the answers to the CO via the Message Centre, email or any other form of communication i.e Social Media or Instant Messaging


Virtual Rewards 2.0 - 2019/2020

This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between June 4, 2019 and June 4, 2020. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards 2.0 on the Geocaching Blog.

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