13 Mar Learn About Our Ancestors At The Cradle Of Humankind
If you’re looking for something a little bit different on your visit to Johannesburg, the Cradle Of Humankind makes for an interesting day out. As just one of eight heritage World Heritage Sites in South Africa it is definitely worth a trip, with around 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils on display there. At Rhino Shuttles we found out everything you need to know about the site.
Where can I find it?
The World Heritage Site is situated about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg, in the Guateng province. It covers an expansive area of land, currently occupying 47,000 hectares. Within the Site there is also a complex of limestone caves which visitors can explore.
What can I see?
There is a lot to see and do within the site, making it a great place for all ages and members of the family. The Sterkfontein Caves are some of the most well known limestone caves at the Cradle of Humankind and were home to a very famous fossil discovery. With three dozen more fossil-bearing caves, there is a lot to explore.
As the world’s richest early hominin site, visitors are invited to learn more about our ancestors, and the importance or fossils for historical discoveries. It is truly fascinating for all to learn more about the formation of fossils and why they matter.
How far back does the history date?
The site has produced a large number of hominin fossils, most of which are the oldest ever found across the world. Some fossils date back as far as 3.5 million years ago. In the Sterkfontein caves alone, more than a third of early hominid fossils ever found prior to 2010 have been traced.
In 1947 Dr. Robert Room and John T. Robinson found the 2.3 million year old fossil Australopithecus africanus (nicknamed Mrs Ples). This led to subsequent discoveries and further research into the evolution of man and our ancestors. The first ape-man fossils were found in 1935 by Robert Broom, leading onto a series of other excavations and discoveries.
Fossils are still being found by archaeologists today, making this an exciting area and a top tourist attraction in South Africa. Exhibits and various activities are constantly set in place for all ages to enjoy and experience.
Getting to your accommodation in the Johannesburg area was never easier with our airport shuttle and transfer services here at Rhino Shuttles. Contact us with any questions or to get a quote. Find out more things to see and do in South Africa by checking out our blog.