Motsetse Cave

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Motsetse Cave (also known as Motsetsi) (25 54' 30"S,27 49' 57"E) is a fossil-bearing breccia filled cavity located about 14km East of the well known South African hominid-bearing sites of Sterkfontein and Kromdraai and about 45km North-Northwest of the City of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the most easterly located fossil site in the Cradle of Humankind.

Motsetse has been investigated since its discovery by Lee Berger in 1999[1]. Since then a series of part-time excavations have recovered tens of thousands of fossils, all recoverd from de-calcified breccias. Excavations have been conducted at Motsetse by the University of the Witwatersrand and at times in conjunction with Peter Schmid of the University of Zurich. Only a very small part of this site has been excavated[1]. Of the many thousands of fossils recovered from Motsetse, as of yet, no hominid fossils have been found. Many very fine fossils of other animals, however, have been discovered including the remains of very well preserved Dinofelis fossils - a type of false saber-toothed cat"[2].

Motsetse is a breccia-filled dolomitic caves that formed in a fissure along a geological fault. Based on the fauna recovered and damage to fossils, it is believed that the cave was the lair of a Dinofelis. Motsetse has been a dated to 1.o to 1.6 million years old based on the animals recovered[2].


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hilton Barber, B. and Berger, L.R. (2001). Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind. Struik. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Berger, L.R. and Lacruz, R. (2003). Motsetsi. S. Afr. J. Science.