Welcome to the Curator’s Bookclub 2022! Each month our curator, Kimberleigh Tommy, will recommend a favourite book. To keep up-to-date with the list follow #CuratorBookclub on our social media channels.
I headed the Management Authority from 2000, where there was, at the time, only the idea of a World Heritage Site, which had been newly listed. The infrastructure at Sterkfontein was a tiny little museum, probably the size of the average bedroom, run by the Rotary. Maropeng had been neither conceived of, nor had land to build it on, been obtained. The roads in the area were all mostly sand.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu represented everything that is good, and principled and magnificent about humankind. South Africa, the continent of Africa, the Cradle of Humankind and indeed the whole world has lost a prime example of everything that is great about us.
Over the last few months, our Curator, Kimberleigh Tommy, has shared some of her favourite books.
Keen to have copies of your own? We have put together a list of where to find them. While we cannot guarantee Christmas delivery, perhaps it can be a good start to your New Year reading list!
What we know for sure is that had we lived differently as a species, there would probably be no need to have a Day of Reconciliation. Because, mostly, it is a day when we remember how large the failures, the hurt, the pain and the self-inflicted suffering. This, down the generations. Never learning from our mistakes.
Maropeng, the Sterkfontein Caves and the Maropeng Boutique Hotel are open for the festive season!
We are open 7 days a week until the 16th of January 2022.
We have partnered with what3words to make getting to Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves as easy as possible!
Technology company what3words has mapped the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares, and given each one a unique what3words address - made of three words from the dictionary.
What does this mean for you? It is a simple way to talk about location and get you were you need to go.
I worked in the field of HIV/Aids in KwaZulu-Natal in the early 1990’s. The virus had just begun to take hold in the country but, just as it is with Covid, conspiracy theories abounded; nonsense was taken as truth; lies and distorted thinking went unchallenged.
We chatted to renowned palaeoartist John Gurche about his fascinating work of creating a face from a fossil. You may recognise his work from museums, publications and even some movies.
Kimberleigh Tommy’s curiosity about the past started with a childhood fascination with Egypt. The idea of piecing together the story of a people by carefully examining what they left behind was intriguing. But was this a viable career option for her? She didn’t think so. However, Tommy, now a fully fledged biological anthropologist, proved herself wrong. She has just been appointed curator at the Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves Visitor Centres.
We’re sad to see her go, but our curator, Dr Keneiloe Molopyane, is about to embark on an exciting new chapter in her career in the palaeosciences. Molopyane will be leaving her position as curator at Maropeng at the end of March to head back into academia and exploration. We chatted to her as she prepares to take the next step.
Maropeng’s intrepid curator, Keneiloe Molopyane, has dived fearlessly into caves and oceans in search of answers to one of humankind’s most intriguing questions: “Where do we come from?” Yet, despite her adventures, she counts her journey to her doctorate as among her most daunting challenges.
Maropeng’s intrepid curator, Keneiloe Molopyane, has been part of a team uncovering a mystery at a new fossil site in the Cradle of Humankind. The site is called UW 105 and since September, teams of scientists have been meticulously mapping out the underground area and creating an above-ground replica to analyse their findings thoroughly. She’s penned a piece on the fascinating work going on at the site.
The Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Sterkfontein Caves will be open during the festive season. Please note, we are only allowing online bookings in order to limit the number of visitors to our site. No tickets will be sold on site.
We’ve put together an FAQ to help you plan your trip to our sites in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site in Gauteng, South Africa.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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”.