Inside Peers Cave, overlooking Fish Hoek
In 1926/7 Victor Peers and his son, Bertram excavated the cave which later became known as Peers Cave. They found many stone tools and the paleolithic skeletons of nine people, one of whom became famous as Fish Hoek Man. The skull has the largest brain area of any skull of its age found up until that time, and has been dated at 12,000 years old. Bertram was a lover and explorer of the great outdoors, a fine amateur scientist and a dedicated naturalist but his enthusiasm eventually cost him his life, when he was fatally struck by a puff adder.
In January 1941 Peers Cave was declared a National Monument.
Fish Hoek is situated on the Indian Ocean, in a broad, low valley, between two and three kilometres wide, which runs from west to east across the girth of the Cape Peninsula. When sealevels were higher than they are today the valley used to be a sea passage that separated the Cape Peninsula into northern and southern islands. Fish Hoek is at the eastern end of the valley. The villages of Noordhoek and Kommetjie are at the western end, on the Atlantic coast. The valley is generally sandy and the bedrock is Cape granite. In places this is deeply weathered and in the past the rotted granite was mined for pockets of the mineral kaolinite, which is used to make ceramic goods such as hand basins and bath tubs.
Peers Cave is accessed either by a short climb up the dunes from Fish Hoek, or from Ou Kaapse Weg, and affords beautiful views across the Peninsula to both oceans from across the valley and, a peep into stone-age history.