During a routine check last Saturday Karen Van Niekerk and I discovered that Blombos Cave had been enterered by a vandal (or vandals) by breaking and cutting a protective geotex panel and then climbing into the cave through the opening. On entering the cave the person caused two sections to collapse and on attempting to exit via the same route caused the collapse of a third section. The vandal also rifled through our excavation boxes.
Blombos Cave is a Western Cape Provincial Heritage site and in 2016 will likely be declared a World Heritage site. The contents of the cave are highly fragile and further damage could take months or years to repair and lead to invaluable information being lost.
We urgently need the help of the authorities to help secure the cave and the declared area around the cave from further damage - we appeal to Heritage Western Cape, the Hessequa Municipality and Cape Nature (curators of the surrounding Blombosfontein Nature Reserve - also about to be declared a Provincial Heritage Site) for urgent assistance.
Image via Christopher Henshilwood