A photogrammetric map of the Dinaledi Subsystem of the Rising Star Cave system, South Africa. Orange bars mark the positions of the Engravings panels on the walls of the cave. Red boxes outline areas where excavations have been undertaken in the floor of the chambers. The green box outlines the area enlarged and colorized.

Engraving Panel A (Images A and B) and Engraving Panel B (Images C and D). Image A is taken with a polarizing filter as described in methods. Image B taken using only LED lights and approximates natural coloration. Image C shows the results of increasing contrast while lowering light on Panel B while Image D illustrates Panel B under LED lighting.

Crosshatched etchings in Panel B. The white circle outlines areas of the engraving that may indicate hammer blows or pounding marks as evidenced by pitting not seen on other surfaces.

Crosshatched etching comparing polarized images (bottom) with non-polarized imaging of the same area highlighting pitting marks that appear to be non-natural in origin.

Closeup of non-geometric figure at the top of Panel B. Note the cross like etching to the left of the figure as well as the X etched to the right. The non-geometric figure uses in part a natural fracture as an extension of the line beneath it before an inverted Y is etched at the terminus of this line. The material causing discoloration of the surface has not been analysed.

Evidence for sediment covering lines on Panel A. Image 1 shows lines 2,3 and 4 of Panel A (See Figure X for map). Note small sediment granules in base of lines to the left of the image, while line rising to the upper right shows penetration to the native underlying rock by the carving action. Image 2 illustrates a position slightly lower on the crosshatch marks on Panel A imaging lines 3,4,6,11 and 13. Note the difference between etching marks on the lower part and right of the image of this section of the engraving showing the difference between highly etched lines versus one presumably covered by a light layer of sediment post their creation. Note also likely pitting or presumed hammerstone marks in the central part of Image 2 between the carved lines. Image 3 illustrates lines 6, 17 and 18. Note the sharply carved lines on the right and the lines on the left that appear to be obscured by a light application of coarse sediment. Image 4 illustrates a wider shot of Panel B showing the discoloration of the area containing the engravings compared to the native rock with no sediment visible in the upper left of the image.

Boc like etchings on Panel B seen under ultraviolet light. Note the slight white appearance of the etched lines indicating the presence of a reflective or slightly fluorescing material in the engraved lines similar to the fluorescence of pure CaCO3.

The Dinaledi Subsystem etched crosshatch found on Panel A between the Hill Antechamber and Dinaledi Chamber (Top) compared to the crosshatch engravings found on the cave floor of Gorham’s Cave, Gibraltar and attributed to manufacture by a neanderthal circa 60k years ago.

Line tracing of the Panel A Dinaledi Subsystem engraving (top in grey), compared to a line tracing of the Gorham’s Cave engraving (bottom in black). Tracings not to scale.

Non-polarized (left) and polarized (right) image of the crosshatched engraving on Panel A, Dinaledi Subsystem. Scale in millimeters.

Polarized image of the Panel A engraving (left) with the most visible lines (interpreted as the most recent etchings) traced (right). Scale in millimeters.

LED light images of the Panel A primary engravings. Scales in millimetres.

Lines 2,6,11, 14, 15,16,18, 21,25,27,33,38,39 and 40. Note that etching 18 overcuts line 17 and line 30 overcuts line 25 indicating an order of creation. Note also that all line engraved on the left side of the image cut through the fossil stromatolite visible as horizontal wavy lines in the rock.

Magnified views of Lines 6, 17 and 18. The bottom image is a slightly higher magnification of the top image. It is clear from these images that the engraving of line 17 preceded the engraving of line 18. Scale at bottom in millimetres.

Magnified views of lines 16, 25 and 30. Note it is clear line 25 was etched first, followed by line 30. The lateral edge of line 31 can be seen at bottom left and the left edge of line 15 at top right. Note also the deep incision through the stromatolites layers by all lines. Scale in millimeters.

A conservative map of non-natural engravings observed on Panel A. Non-natural engravings are traced in white lines and given yellow numbers references in the text.

Magnified images of etchings 41 through 46 numbered from left to right. Scale in millimeters.

Image of dolomite above and right of Panel A. The top of the crosshatched etchings can be seen in the lower left of the image. Note the smoothing and alteration of the Panel’s surface compared to natural, non-altered dolomitic surfaces above and right of the Panel typical of unaltered surfaces throughout the system.

The tool-shaped artefact described in Berger et al, 2023a (top) recovered from the Hill Antechamber burial immediately below Panels B and C compared to the artefact from Blombos cave, South Africa attributed by Henshilwood et al 2009 as having symbolic markings in ochre made by Homo sapiens circa 78k years ago.

Known humans who have entered the Dinaledi System