Let’s go tour…..
The Cradle of Humankind
The universe was formed about 14-billion years ago. The Earth is about 4.6-billion years old. Life first emerged about 3.8-billion years ago. Our journey begins in South Africa, where fossils of some of the earliest known life forms on Earth have been found.
Our tour departs at 09:00, we head westwards of Johannesburg to the Sterkfontein Caves and Maropeng within the Cradle of Humankind world heritage site, one of the world’s most important fossil sites since it has produced:
- The first adult Australopithecus, found by Dr Robert Broom at Sterkfontein in 1936.
- A second kind of ape-man found at Kromdraai and named Paranthropus robustus by Broom in 1938.
- The first fossils of a very early human called Telanthropusin 1949 by Broom and John Robinson, associated with Paranthropus robustusfossils at Swartkrans. Telanthropus is now classified as Homoergaster.
- The first, and so far only, direct association between Homo ergaster(Stw 80) and early Acheulean tools, at Sterkfontein.
- The oldest stone tools (Oldowan) in Southern Africa, at Sterkfontein.
- The only virtually complete Australopithecusskeleton, “Little Foot”.
- The longest sample of Australopithecus africanusfossils (at Sterkfontein).
- The longest sample of Paranthropus robustusfossils (at Swartkrans).
- A great number of cave sites containing fossils of our ancestors, their relatives, and the animals that populated their environment.
The Sterkfontein Caves is our first venue on tour to experience and explore…….
Within the caves, scientists have discovered many hominid and other animal fossils, dating back more than 4-million years, to the birth of humanity. The most important and most famous of these fossils are “Mrs Ples”, a 2.1-million-year-old Australopithecus skull, and “Little Foot”, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton that is more than 3-million years old. These fossils, both found in the Sterkfontein Caves in the Cradle of Humankind, tell us much about the precursors of modern humans, Homo sapiens.
Following the program at the Sterkfontien Caves we visit Maropeng, a world-class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years.
The Maropeng exhibition and visitor centre is highly interactive, informative and enjoyable and will engage visitors of all ages.
The beginning of the world, The Path to humanity…..
What it means to be human….
- Bipedalsm (allowed hominids to free their arms, enabling them to make and use tools well, stretch for fruit in trees etc.)
- Development of the jaw and diet
- Development and growth of the brain
Stone tools, Control and use of fire, Development of language, Living with others, Peopling the world, Creative explosion…….
Now that we can do anything…… what will we do?
Return to Pretoria:
We head home upon completion of the program at Maropeng to arrive at around 14:00
Enjoy a fantastic tour in Gauteng Province!
Entrance fees at the venue
Light lunch at Maropeng
What to wear:
Winter: -3 to 20°C
Warmish dress code, early morning is cold – Jeans, warm jacket, sneakers, sun glasses, camera, hat
Summer: 15 – 35°C
Light dress code – Shorts, sneakers/sandals, sun glasses, camera, hat, sun screen lotion