Panga ya Saidi Cave

Excavated in 2018 on a quest led by Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History,  this 1,076 M2 site is arguably one the 'most significant' archaeological finds made in Kenya in the past three decades. As late as ten years ago this site, about 15 kms from the flourishing beaches of Kilifi, was used by locals for native rituals; but the discovery indicates its history is actually more engrossing.   Based on evidence found, it was occupied by "Homo sapiens" for 78,000 years. The multi-layered artefacts linked to middle stone era include ornaments, beads, shells and hominid remains.


Panga ya Saidi Cave dates back to the Middle Stone Age with consistent pulses of human activity over the past 78,000 years. This is the first substantial cave record from coastal Kenya as it sheds some light on significant gradual changes in cultural, technological, and symbolic innovations throughout this period.

Located in Kilifi county, the cave rests on an escarpment that borders lowland tropical forest and savannah. Recent excavations conducted have delivered evidence for long-lasting human occupation ranging from the Middle Stone Age to the Iron Age.

The cave is a massive karstic cave complex, first excavated in 2010 as part of the Sealinks Project, with subsequent field seasons in 2011, 2013, and 2017.

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