After bidding Barbers safe travels, we had the opportunity to visit Sterkfontein Caves (meaning strong spring) near Johannesburg, S.A. Sterkfontien Caves were discovered in the late 1890s during the time of the South African gold rush. The caves have yielded a rich trove of fossil remains of both plant and animals. Fossils discovered there have dated back to more than 4 million years. The first adult australopithecine fossil was discovered in 1936.
|Dr. Brown's 1947 discovery|
In 1947 an almost complete skull of an adult female Australopitecus Africanus was found there. It was estimated to be 2.1 million years old. The skull was given he name “Ms. Ples” a shorten version of Pleasianthropus transvaalensis. (‘near man’ of Transvaal). In 1997, “Little Foot”, the most complete Australopitecus skeletal remains were also recovered from the caves.
It was incredible to climbing down into the caves and view previously excavated sites where some ancient fossils have been excavated. To realize you were standing in a location where 2.1 million years ago an evolutionary relative had roamed was unbelievable. Strekfontien Caves have been recognized as the world’s richest hominid site having yielded over 500 hominid specimens thus far.
|Excavated fossil locations|
Continued site excavation has been in place at Sterkfontien since 1966.
|Simulation of earth's development|
The boat trip matched any Disney ride.