Cradle dating site
Do you need more reasons to visit this outstanding heritage site in South Africa?THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND The Cradle of Humankind encompasses the farms of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans and Kromdraai which are located in a region that lies between two major cities in South Africa; Johannesburg and Pretoria.The region is internationally-renowned for being one of the world’s richest concentrations of hominid fossils and presents evidence of human evolution over the last 3.5 million years.The protected heritage site spans an area of 47 000 hectares, lying on a bed of dolomite deposited around 2.5-billion years ago.When the historical area was declared a World Heritage Site the area was named The Cradle of Humankind.The Maropeng Visitors Centre was constructed more recently and is now a major South African tourist destination.
From Maropeng we proceed to the Visitors Centre of the Sterkfontein Caves, where a permanent hominid exhibition is displayed.Hundreds of thousands of prospectors converged on the northern territory of South Africa in an unprecedented gold rush.Lime was a sought-after resource needed for the chemical extraction of gold. Lime was discovered in an area with interesting underground cave formations, now known as the Sterkfontein Caves.Similar fossils have been found at other sites in south and east Africa but the Cradle of Humankind has produced more than 950 hominid fossil specimens.The discovery of the Sterkfontein Caves is linked to the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand Basin in the 1880s.Tumulus building The main exhibition is housed in a state-of-the-art facility called Tumulus building.The pathway to the entrance passes an archaeological excavation of a Stone Age site where geologists found early stone tools belonging to the Acheulean period.In addition, there are thousands of fossils of hominids, plants and animals.More hominid fossils are found in the Cradle of Humankind than anywhere else in the world.A visit to Maropeng takes tourists to South Africa on a trip back some 3-million years to when our ancestors lived in the area. A tour of the Sterkfontein Caves is a must-see destination if you are visiting the Gauteng Province in South Africa.Moafrika Tours offers other tours to iconic destinations including a Johannesburg tour, a Soweto tour and a Kruger safari tour.