Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs
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Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member TeamTGF
S 26° 00.990 E 027° 44.058
35J E 573478 N 7122282
Quick Description: The site where all human life originates.
Location: Gauteng, South Africa
Date Posted: 4/16/2007 12:00:52 PM
Waymark Code: WM1E02
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tervas
Views: 219

Long Description:


The ongoing excavations at the site


A mere hour's drive from Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind is a place of major significance. It was here we first became human. Here where we first stood upright on our own two, rather oddly shaped feet, explored the uses to which we could put our usefully opposed thumbs and experimented with more and more sophisticated grunts as we tried to make sense of our environment. It's also the place where 1.8 million years ago we first "domesticated" fire.

OK - to be perfectly honest, it's unlikely that these hominids lived only in the Sterkfontein area - they probably ranged all over southern Africa but, in order for fossils to be preserved, they need to die under ideal conditions - ideal conditions for fossil formation, not ideal conditions for life, obviously. The Cradle of Humankind, with its heavy deposits of limestone, offered the perfect environment for the preservation of these ancient skeletons. 

Since 1947, when Robert Broom discovered the first hominid fossil, who came to be known as Mrs Ples, literally thousands of fossils have been found at Sterkfontein and the other sites that make up the Cradle of Humankind.

You can do a tour of the Sterkfontein Caves, where there is a small interpretive museum, but you'll get more out of a visit here if you take a dedicated tour with a knowledgeable guide who can tell you about the various discoveries.

The posted coordinates are to the entrance to the cave where Robert Broom found the fossils.

Extract taken from www.safarinow.com

Type: Site

Reference number: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/915

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ThomasFamilyZA visited Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs 12/28/2011 ThomasFamilyZA visited it
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