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Museum of Archaeology

Stilbaai has much to offer its visitors interested in history and archaeology and well worth a visit is the Blombos Museum which displays evidence of the early, middle and later Stone Age.

The Museum is located at the old historic De Jager Farmstead, now known as the Palinggat Homestead, along with the Stilbaai Tourism Bureau. The house at the Farmstead was first built in 1809 however, after a terrible fire was bought and rebuilt in 1814 by Andries J de Jager, who put his initials and date in the mortar above the front door. His imposing residence was built with sandstone walls, 70cm’s thick, with yellowwood boards for ceilings. The property remained in the de Jager family for many decades and only in 1989 did the municipality acquire the land. In 1992 the Stilbaai Tourism Centre was established on the premises.

The Blombos Museum is named after the Blombos Cave nearby where researchers have found a number of stone tools and other artefacts, which now form the basis of the museum’s exhibits. The most significant find in the Blombos cave was a small piece of ochre inscribed deliberately by human hand with a cross-hatched pattern and an accurate replica is on display. Carbon dating estimates it to be more than 75 000 years old, which has led many to believe that it is the oldest piece of art in existence.

Little fresh water “Tic” shells were excavated in the Blombos Cave also from the 75 000 year layers. The remarkable fact here is that it has been shown that each shell has a handmade little hole and that these shells were strung together and worn as jewellery. The original shells which were excavated from the Blombos cave are considered as the world’s oldest necklace and a replica of the necklace is on display.

Another attraction at the Palinggat Homestead, are the legendary Eels of Palinggat who were nurtured by generations of de Jager’s and the tradition has been continued by the personnel of the Information Centre.

Things to see and do

  • Tourist Information Centre
  • Stone Age Tools & Artefacts
  • Worlds’ Oldest Necklace Replica
  • Orca Stone Art Replica
  • Stone Age Dietary Exhibit
  • Rock Art Gallery
  • Eels of Palinggat
  • Palinggat Fountain


Please contact the Museum directly to confirm entrance fees

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