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African Institute for Marine and Underwater Research, Exploration and Education

Hayley and Mac busy planning a location for further investigation
As part of the AIMURE’s long-term research project Operation Zembe, the Institute’s Dive Unit organized an expedition in and around False Bay, Cape Town. During the period 12 to 15 May, several dives were undertaken off Cape Hangklip. This offered an opportunity to test the new camera equipment and to observe local underwater conditions.

Mike, Alton and Ozzie enjoying the ‘après-dive’
The area off Cape Hangklip is of great interest to our research. During periods of lower sea level stands, it most probably served as a portal for migrating animals and hominids, as the adjacent Hottentots Hollands mountain range formed a substantial barrier. Future underwater searches may thus hopefully result in finding evidence for this.

Roshan Bhurtha (l.) and Professor Rüther recording one of the stone tools by means of digital photography.

Our team was joined by Professor John Compton, from UCT’s Department of Geology, Hayley Cawthra and ‘Big Mac’ from the Council for Geoscience. During these few days, the scientists provided most interesting information. John also took the group around the area, pointing out relevant geological features. Currently, he, Hayley and Bruno are working on a scientific paper that will probably be published as a chapter in a book. We were also visited by a National Geographic photographer who recorded some of the Dive Unit’s activities.

The stone tools that were found in Table Bay are currently being recorded in great detail by Professor Heinz Rüther and Mr.Roshan Bhurtha of the Zamani Project. With the assistance of the most sophisticated equipment and software available, extremely accurate three-dimensional models are being created that will also allow for the production of replica’s.

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