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We’re reopening! Here’s what you need to know

We are thrilled to announce that we will be reopening the Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Sterkfontein Caves during the festive season. Our sites will be open 4-6 December, and then again from 11 December until 27 January, daily from 9am to 4pm.

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Got a question? Here’s our Covid-19 FAQ

The Maropeng and Sterkfontein Visitor Centres in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site are nearly ready to say #WelcomeHome! We’ve put together an FAQ to help you plan your trip.

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Exploring battlefields in the Cradle of Humankind: the Battle of Kalkheuwel

In the second instalment of his remarkable series on old battlefields in the Cradle of Humankind, Vincent Carruthers takes us back to the Battle of Kalkheuwel - a deadly confrontation on a high ridge honeycombed with lime mines and the dolomitic caves.

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#FossilFriday feature: Drimolen skull shows evidence of microevolution

A skull discovered at the Drimolen Palaeocave System in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is making global headlines. Researchers say the Paranthropus robustus specimen shows evidence of microevolution. The findings were published earlier this week.

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Exploring battlefields in the Cradle of Humankind: The Battle of Dwarsvlei

On 11 November each year, millions around the world mark Remembrance Day in tribute to lives lost in World War I. South Africa’s own history means there are many old battlefields in areas across our country. Celebrated environmentalist and author, Vincent Carruthers is producing a three-part series for Maropeng on these sites in the Cradle of Humankind. Here’s the first instalment, on the battle of Dwarsvlei.

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On reopening Maropeng: a letter from our MD

Since we moved to lockdown level 1 in September, we have received a flood of enquiries from South Africans eager to visit or revisit our vast site. In all likelihood, and at the very least, Maropeng, the official visitor centre to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, and the Maropeng Boutique Hotel, will be able to reopen in December this year.

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A tale of two Cradles

There is only one Cradle of Humankind - and although it is foregrounded in the amazing world heritage site in Gauteng, with it unparalleled collection of early hominin fossils, in fact the Cradle of Humankind is the entire continent of Africa, in its unparalleled diversity. In South Africa, we have two “Cradles”.

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From Barbies to bones: Hi-Tec celebrates our curator

“Once upon a time there was a little girl obsessed with Barbies - 23 Barbies – watching an episode of Tintin and then everything changed.”

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The Maropeng family mourns the loss of a shining star

The team at Maropeng is mourning the loss of a dear friend and colleague, Dinaledi Esau. Dinaledi joined the Maropeng team in 2013 and was a member of the first team of Cradle Ambassadors when the programme was launched in 2017.

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Spring in the Cradle of Humankind

It’s nearly that time of year again when the landscape in and around the Cradle of Humankind becomes a blaze of colour as the weather starts to warm up. While the area is best known for its fossil treasures, it also boasts a remarkably rich biodiversity that is on full display in the warmer months.

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Maropeng’s women share their words of wisdom

Women’s Month is all about celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of our female leaders, heroes and icons. So, in this month of August, Maropeng is turning the spotlight on the women who are making a contribution to palaeosciences in South Africa.

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The Maropeng maintenance team: willing, able and upbeat

The Maropeng brand is recognised for so much more than its work showcasing the world-renowned fossil discoveries that have come out of South Africa.

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Maropeng through the eyes of our guides

A tour of Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves is a voyage of delight and discovery. It will take you on a trip through time as you visit caves famous for their fossil finds and learn more about humanity’s history.

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Changing the narrative: celebrating South Africa’s young scientists

Whether they’re making their own stone tools, squeezing through caves or making anthropology accessible to more South Africans, our country has a vibrant cohort of young scientists who are doing their bit to uncover humanity’s origin story. During Youth Month this year, we decided to turn the spotlight on them.

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Opinion: I can’t breathe

“It may be innocuous to you, my friend and peer,” my black, 18-year-old son wrote to his white friends at school.

“I don’t usually like posting and talking about race, because it’s such a sensitive, controversial topic. And most people don’t seem to care when it doesn’t involve them. But I would like to ask you a few questions.

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Let’s talk fossils this #FossilFriday

We love connecting with you, so this #FossilFriday we’ve decided to do something a little different! Join our #FossilFriday live Twitter chat to talk about your favourite stones, bones and the fascinating stories around them. 💀

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The most thought-provoking way to spend Africa Day

What does it mean to be African? What sets this continent apart? How can we reclaim Africa’s stories? This Africa Day, we’re pondering the big questions by watching some of the most thought-provoking TED talks on these subjects.

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Owning the African story: the role of museums in 2020

When she took the reins as curator at Maropeng, adventurer and archaeologist Keneiloe Molopyane had a compelling notion of the importance of museums in society. Nine months later, on International Museum Day, Molopyane, an archaeologist and biological anthropology PhD candidate, shared her thoughts on the impact and importance of museums on the African continent.

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Bones and Stones: Curator in the Cradle

Covid-19 and the lockdowns that countries are dealing with worldwide have meant a reinvention of how people stay connected. Faced with this challenge, three archaeologists, Matt Lotter, Tim Forssman and Matt Caruana, have come together to produce a podcast titled “Bones and Stones”.

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Be sure to #VisitTheCradleLater

Right now, the best thing we can all do for each other is to stay at home and stay healthy. While you’re not able to come and visit us right now, we know you’ll #VisitTheCradleLater. In the meantime, share your best pictures of your adventures in the Cradle of Humankind with us.

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How to keep learning during lockdown

Are you scrambling to find interesting ways to keep your children busy during the lockdown? Here’s a look at some of our favourite ideas from around the world.

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Maropeng memories: how our site has been honouring our human rights

Human rights are the moral compass that has been guiding and nurturing human civilisation for centuries. They exist to encourage freedom of expression, ensure that people have access to basic necessities and protect us from all kinds of injustices.

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What we’re doing to help keep you healthy

As South Africans work together to curb the spread of Covid-19 (the new coronavirus), our team at Maropeng has also put measures in place to protect our visitors.

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Find out more about the Cradle by dipping into these three books

Maropeng has contributed a whole lot more to history than acting as a discovery site for archaeological treasures. Since opening to the public in 2005, the Unesco World Heritage Site has spent the past 14-plus years hosting world-class conferences, helping to organise prestigious book launches and collaborating with world-renowned intellectuals who are helping to rewrite human history.