The Cradle of Humankind is one of the world’s most important fossil sites because it has produced:
- The first adult Australopithecus, found by Dr Robert Broom at Sterkfontein in 1936.
- A second kind of ape-man found at Kromdraai and named Paranthropus robustus by Broom in 1938.
- The first fossils of a very early human called Telanthropus in 1949 by Broom and John Robinson, associated with Paranthropus robustus fossils at Swartkrans. Telanthropus is now classified as Homo ergaster.
- The first, and so far only, direct association between Homo ergaster (Stw 80) and early Acheulean tools, at Sterkfontein.
- The oldest stone tools (Oldowan) in Southern Africa, at Sterkfontein.
- The only virtually complete Australopithecus skeleton, “Little Foot”.
- The longest sample of Australopithecus africanus fossils (at Sterkfontein).
- The longest sample of Paranthropus robustus fossils (at Swartkrans).
- A great number of cave sites containing fossils of our ancestors, their relatives, and the animals that populated their environment.
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