Evolution – Photo essay of the week

  • October 20, 2009 | Category: News

This week’s photo essay looks at the theory of evolution using the Maropeng exhibition as a backdrop. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) is world-renowned for his theory of evolution. In his book The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Darwin argued the case for natural selection – that over time creatures which are able to adapt biologically to changes in their environments (in other words, evolve) survive, while those that don’t adapt become extinct.

It’s only in the past 50 years or so that the theory of evolution has received wide-scale acceptance. Anatomical indications which support the concept of evolution can be seen in hominid fossils from the Sterkfontein Caves and other sites in the Cradle of Humankind.

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Maropeng explains Darwin at Yebo Gogga science show

  • October 19, 2009 | Category: News

Maropeng’s dynamic duo, Curator Lindsay Marshall and Education Marketing Executive Magel van de Venter, were out in full force at this year’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Yebo Gogga show. This annual interactive life - sciences show attracts both young and old through its doors.

This is the first year that Maropeng has exhibited at the show.

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Sterkfontein Caves Exhibition – Photo essay of the week

  • October 13, 2009 | Category: News

This week’s photo essay features the amazing Sterkfontein Caves exhibition. The exhibition is the first stop for those taking the tour of Sterkfontein Caves, a cave system that has been excavated by palaeontologists and archaeologists since 1936, when the first hominid fossil was found there. The exhibition marks the beginning of a wondrous journey into the world of human evolution and discovery.

All the lifelike hominid illustrations in the exhibition – from the 7-million-year-old Toumai fossil from Chad through to modern humans – has been produced by world-acclaimed and award-winning palaeoartist John Gurche, whose exhibits can be seen at the Smithsonian Institute, the Field Museum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and who worked on the hit film Jurassic Park.

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Some from Mars, some from Venus, all from the Cradle of Humankind

  • October 13, 2009 | Category: News

John Gray, author of the internationally best-selling book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, visited Maropeng yesterday, October 12, 2009.

Gray was in South Africa to give seminars about relationships and parenting.

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Ardipithecus ramidus a common ancestor between humans and great apes?

  • October 08, 2009 | Category: News

Seventeen years ago, in 1992, in the Middle Awash River Valley in Ethiopia, the first fossils of a new hominid species – a 4.4-million-year-old Ardipithecus ramidus – were found. Nearly two decades later, after hundreds of hours of research, and now with more than 100 specimens represented in the fossil record, the researchers studying the species claim it’s the closest yet discovered to a “common ancestor” between hominids, to which group humans belong, and the great apes, such as chimpanzees and orangutans.

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The Maropeng Hotel – Photo essay of the week

  • October 06, 2009 | Category: News

This week’s photo essay features the luxurious four-star Maropeng Hotel. Opened in mid-2006, the boutique hotel is a five-minute walk from Maropeng, and 10 km (6 mi) from the Sterkfontein Caves. The Maropeng Hotel won the award for best established four-star hotel or lodge accommodation at the West Rand Tourism Awards in 2009.

The Maropeng Hotel caters for everyone: it is ideal for a romantic getaway, a pleasure for executives seeking a convenient conference venue with accommodation not too far out of town, perfect for local visitors wanting a short escape to refresh their souls, and a warm welcome for international tourists wanting to see some of the best attractions South Africa has to offer.

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Educational trust sponsors burn survivors’ visit to Maropeng

  • October 06, 2009 | Category: News

On October 1, burn survivors from the Children of Fire charity organisation visited Maropeng’s Visitor Centre to learn about their heritage as part a new initiative launched by the Maropeng Educational programme sponsored by the Cradle of Humankind Trust.

Through the Cradle of Humankind and contributions from Steffunti Stocks, Maropeng has launched an educational programme which sponsors groups of children’s visits to Maropeng. Children of Fire were the first sponsored tour.

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Maropeng wins tourism industry awards

  • September 30, 2009 | Category: News

Maropeng, the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind, scooped seven of the 60 awards at the West Rand Tourism Awards ceremony last night.

The event, which highlights service excellence in the tourism industry, was held at the Silver Star Casino. This year there were 163 entries for the awards, double what was received last year.

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Original Fossil Display– Photo essay of the week

  • September 29, 2009 | Category: News

This week’s photo essay features the original fossil display at the Maropeng Visitor Centre.

The display forms the final section of the exhibition and houses original fossils on loan to Maropeng from various insititutions. This changes regularly to illustrate different themes. The present display is entitled Evolution: digging for an understanding, and it focuses on the theory of evolution, which was made famous by Charles Darwin. The material in this exhibition is kindly on loan from the following collections at the University of the Witwatersrand: the Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, the Institute for Human Evolution, the Hunterian Museum and the Department of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences.

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Celebrating heritage

  • September 28, 2009 | Category: News

Maropeng celebrated Heritage Day in style this year, setting up a stand at the Great Escape Magaliesburg Country Classic Festival.

The annual festival, a celebration of country living, highlights the various attractions and hospitality venues in the Magalies Meander.


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