The Blom­bos Cave dis­cov­ery and the ori­gins of symbolism

A new dis­cov­ery in Blom­bos Cave in the West­ern Cape pos­es fas­ci­nat­ing ques­tions about the ori­gins of mod­ern human behaviour. 


Lit­tle Foot’ offers lessons for the mod­ern world

Pro­fes­sor Ron Clarke talked to us about the sig­nif­i­cance of the most com­plete Aus­tralo­p­ithe­cus skele­ton ever found. Lit­tle Foot” was unveiled at Maropeng for an event on the side­lines of the BRICS Sum­mit last week.

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Think­ing aloud: could tox­ic dig­i­tal addic­tion destroy your life?

The dig­i­tal age has many ben­e­fits, but have we con­sid­ered the way increas­ing amounts of screen time affect our health and wellbeing?

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How a lost African city was recre­at­ed with laser technology

Laser tech­nol­o­gy has been used to redraw’ the remains of a lost city along the Suiker­bostrand hills near Johan­nes­burg. This ground­break­ing research was done by a team from Wits Uni­ver­si­ty. This piece on their find­ings was pub­lished in The Conversation’.


Foot­print fos­sils sug­gest lizards have been run­ning on two feet for 110m years

Fos­sil bones and skele­tons tend to get most of the atten­tion in palaeon­tol­ogy, but some­times we can learn more about extinct life from the foot­prints long-extinct ani­mals left behind. That’s the case in new research that claims to have found 110m-year-old track­ways of lizards run­ning on two feet (bipedal­ly).


Let’s talk about col­lid­ing stars and the space-time continuum

In the third edi­tion of Maropeng’s Think­ing Aloud” series, we’re explor­ing one of the most fol­lowed astro­nom­i­cal events in the world. Pro­fes­sor Petri Vaisa­nen, direc­tor of the South African Astro­nom­i­cal Obser­va­to­ry, and Jerome Jooste, chair­per­son of the Astro­nom­i­cal Soci­ety of South­ern Africa in Johan­nes­burg, will shed light on a vio­lent merg­er of two neu­tron stars 130-mil­lion light years away, and its implications.

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WATCH: High­lights of the thought-pro­vok­ing sec­ond edi­tion of Think­ing Aloud’

Think­ing Aloud” is a new lec­ture series that Maropeng has intro­duced to shed light on, and pro­mote dis­cus­sions about, fas­ci­nat­ing issues of pub­lic inter­est. In our first edi­tion we delved into cli­mate change, vul­tures and South Africa’s mil­i­tary his­to­ry. In the sec­ond, we took a clos­er look at cannabis.

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Cannabis – a gate­way to sick­ness or health?

Have a press­ing ques­tions about the val­ue of cannabis to human health? Then don’t miss the sec­ond instal­ment of our Think­ing Aloud’ series of pub­lic talks.

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How old is Lit­tle Foot really?

Lit­tle Foot, the almost com­plete, fos­silised skele­ton of an ear­ly form of the human ances­tor Aus­tralo­p­ithe­cus, was hailed as one of the most remark­able dis­cov­er­ies ever in the field of palaeoan­thro­pol­o­gy when it was found deep inside a Sterk­fontein cave. Recent scruti­ny by experts made Lit­tle Foot the old­est known hominid from the Cra­dle of Humankind.

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10 ques­tions about OSIRIS-REx, the world’s lat­est aster­oid-sam­pling mission

On 8 Sep­tem­ber 2016, NASA embarked on its first aster­oid-sam­pling mis­sion, OSIRIS-REx, with a suc­cess­ful launch from Cape Canaver­al in Florida.

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Head or heart, stargaz­ing touch­es us all

Whether you believe in the pow­er of the stars and plan­ets or are one of those who sim­ply enjoys mar­vel­ling at the night sky while pon­der­ing the sci­ence of it all, the fact is that astron­o­my has had a very real impact on human minds.

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Stare into the face of the old­est human ancestor

It’s time to meet your poten­tial great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great [this goes on for sev­er­al thou­sand lines] grand-relative.

Do you see any resemblance?