9 Complex

9 ComplexSite 9 is a large cave complex with 5 cavities: main Lower Cave 9a, southern lower Cave 9b, Upper Cave 9c, Cave 9d immediately adjacent to Cave 9c at the same level, and the larger Upper Cave 9e. The structure of the site 9 complex is dominated by a highly developed, intersecting joint system and large-scale collapse, especially of the cave complex entrance, in modern times.

Cave 9a was the subject of a test excavation in 2000. The deposit is a massive horizontally bedded dune, and only a thin deposit of 7 flakes was encountered roughly 1 m below the surface, and aged by OSL to 108.2 ± 7.3 ka.

Exploration of 9b and 9c using climbing gear and ladders resulted in discovery of MSA sediments just several centimeters below the surface. The identification of in-situ archaeological deposits in these relatively inaccessible upper cavities suggests that either the form of the cave has changed or that a sand dune once sealed 9a and provided access to 9b and 9c. Both cave areas show substantial flowstone activity intercalated with sediments. In 2006, caves 9b and 9c were the subject of more extensive excavations, and the resultant data is currently under analysis.