The discoveries at Sterkfontein and Swartkrans

The UNESCO World Heritage site in South Africa is popularly known as the Cradle of Humankind, purely due to the amount of hominid found there since 1924. 


Some of the main discoveries found at Sterkfontein and Swartkrans sites:

  • In 1924 the skull of an Australopithecus africanus was found, known as the “Taung Child” by Raymond Dart.
  • In 1935, another Australopithecus africanus was found dating back 2.3 million years, it was given the name Mrs Ples
  • The first evidence of controlled fire dating back 1.8 million years.
  • In 1938, the first evidence of Paranthropus robustus was found there by a young boy
  • In 1997 a near complete skeleton of Australopithecus was found dating back 3.3 million years, and given the nickname “Little Foot” (like in Land Before Time…)
  • The most discovery was in 2010 when Lee Berger discovered new homonid remains of an Australopithecus sediba, adding a new name to the Australopithecus family.


The Cradle of Humankind is made up of many different sites, and consists of a range of limestone caves and holes. It’s one of the most important hominid fossil sites in the world, as it as added to the study of our evolution and origins.

The possibilities are endless at this site, and with all that has been found already, it seems pretty credible that even more mind-shattering discoveries will be found. Just a matter of time.

Check out more info about the site on the UNESCO site


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