World-acclaimed scientists visit Maropeng

  • November 27, 2009

By Itumeleng Makgobathe

Maropeng hosted two of the most respected palaeontologists in the world, Chris Stringer and Berhane Asfaw, this week.

Stringer, a British palaeoanthropologist, currently works in the Palaeontology Department at the British Natural History Museum. He is the founder and one of the leading advocates of the Recent African Origin theory concerning human evolution.


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Aerial views of Maropeng – Photo essay of the week

  • November 24, 2009 | Category: News

Maropeng has many parts: the Tumulus Building, the Maropeng Hotel, the learner centre, the Market Place and the amphitheatre, to name a few.

Some of these aspects, like the hotel, are mostly hidden in the rolling hills. So this week, our photo essay shows you the whole picture – spectacular views of Maropeng from construction to conclusion.

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Something to smile about – Salamina Mogwase

  • November 22, 2009 | Category: News

When Salamina Mogwase applied for a housekeeping job at Maropeng four years ago, she didn’t realise that this was where she would finally find her place in the world.

Salamina works as a housekeeper for the Maropeng Hotel – though she does not consider it work. “I love cleaning, it makes me happy,” she explains.

Incredibly humble in her approach Salamina says she would not be where she is today without the help of her fellow housekeepers, who she describes as family more than co-workers.

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New dinosaur fossil coming soon to Maropeng

  • November 20, 2009

Visitors to Maropeng have a wonderful, world-first opportunity to see the fossil of a new species of dinosaur, known as “Earth Claw”.

It was only on 11 November 2009 that the University of the Witwatersrand announced the discovery of this dinosaur.


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Children enjoy the Maropeng exhibition – Photo essay of the week

  • November 17, 2009 | Category: News

This week’s photo essay features children enjoying the Maropeng exhibition. The exhibition at the Maropeng Visitor Centre, which highlights humanity’s origins and the changing environment, is highly interactive and enjoyable. It will engage visitors of all ages.

Maropeng is an excellent attraction for children because it offers interactive, audio and tactile exhibitions that can be enjoyed by both sighted and sight-impaired individuals.

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Manager in the making – Aaron Konopi

  • November 15, 2009 | Category: News

In the first week of May 2006, Aaron Konopi walked onto the grounds of Maropeng knowing that he had come home. The interview he was there for was a simple step in his journey, and it wasn’t long before Aaron was a member of the Maropeng team.

Working at the Maropeng Hotel as a waiter is just one of Aaron’s talents. “I have worked in all departments, I am a flexible guy,” he says with a broad grin.


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Famous people at Maropeng – Photo essay of the week

  • November 10, 2009 | Category: News

This week’s photo essay features some famous celebrities who have visited Maropeng.

Maropeng and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site have hosted many inspirational and famous people from all over the world. Individuals from all spheres of life, from politics to entertainment, have visited “the place of origin”. Former US vice-president and environmental activist Al Gore; John Gray, author of the internationally best-selling book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus; Radio 702’s John Robbie; Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile – these are among the many influential people who have been guests at Maropeng.

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Education trust sponsors Tsoaranang Primary School visit to Maropeng

  • November 10, 2009

This November, the Maropeng Education programme has given learners from Tsoaranang Primary School in Sharpeville the opportunity to learn about their origins and heritage.

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Maropeng: more than just a job for Nurse Monnana

  • November 08, 2009 | Category: News

Nurse Monnana, a housekeeper at the Maropeng Hotel, is full of ambition.

When she joined Maropeng as a scullery maid in 2005, Nurse worked hard to prove herself. In 2006, when Maropeng Hotel opened, she was one of many who welcomed guests to the new establishment.

Nurse’s hard work has paid off – today she is a supervisor at the establishment.

“I enjoy everything about my job,” she says.

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Building the hominid models – Photo essay of the week

  • November 03, 2009 | Category: News

In this week’s photo essay we look at how artists built the models of hominids whose fossil remains were found in the Sterkfontein Caves and other sites in the Cradle of Humankind and around the world.

Maropeng is home to a number of hominid models. Because fossil evidence lacks all soft tissue, skin, eyes and hair, it’s hard to imagine what these hominid species may have looked like. But reconstructing them as models gives the visitor to Maropeng a glimpse into a life that existed many millions of years ago.

Original fossils like Mrs Ples are irreplaceable, so they are housed in secured vaults in various academic institutions. The original fossils are only periodically displayed as part of temporary exhibitions at Maropeng. However, casts of these important fossils are permanently displayed at Maropeng.

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

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