16345659286 Cf1F70C6B8 O
The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, due to the wealth of hominid fossils discovered here

The Cradle of Humankind is one of the world’s most important fossil sites because it has produced:

  1. The first adult Australopithecus, found by Dr Robert Broom at Sterkfontein in 1936.
  2. A second kind of ape-man found at Kromdraai and named Paranthropus robustus by Broom in 1938.
  3. 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.
  4. The first, and so far only, direct association between Homo ergaster (Stw 80) and early Acheulean tools, at Sterkfontein.
  5. The oldest stone tools (Oldowan) in Southern Africa, at Sterkfontein.
  6. The only virtually complete Australopithecus skeleton, “Little Foot”.
  7. The longest sample of Australopithecus africanus fossils (at Sterkfontein).
  8. The longest sample of Paranthropus robustus fossils (at Swartkrans).
  9. A great number of cave sites containing fossils of our ancestors, their relatives, and the animals that populated their environment.

Return to the Exhibition Guide.