Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind is a paleoanthropological site and is located about 50 km northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, in the Gauteng province. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, the site is home to the largest concentration of human ancestral remains anywhere in the world.
The site currently occupies 47,000 hectares and contains a complex system of limestone caves. The registered name of the site in the list of World Heritage Sites is Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa. According to the South African Journal of Science, Bolt’s Farm is the place where the earliest primate was discovered. Bolt’s Farm was heavily mined for speleothem in the terminal 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Sterkfontein Caves were the site of the discovery of a 2.3-million-year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus, found in 1947 by Robert Broom and John T. Robinson. The find helped corroborate the 1924 discovery of the juvenile Australopithecus africanus skull known as the “Taung Child”, by Raymond Dart, at Taung in the North West Province of South Africa, where excavations still continue.