Come visit the Cradle of Humankind - The origin of your species

At Random Harvest, we enjoy the fact that our travel B & B is so well situated making accessibility to nearby tourist attractions so easy for our guests.

If Random Harvest guests want to explore a bit of the Gauteng province they would simply have to travel a short distance in any direction from our bed and breakfast before they came across the first of many tourist attractions.

One of the sites our bed and breakfast accommodation highly recommends is the Cradle of Humankind.

The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site and it is situated about 50 km northwest of Johannesburg, a mere 25 minute drive from our guesthouse accommodation.

The site was first named by UNESCO in 1999; the site presently occupies 47,000 hectares. It comprises of a number of limestone caves.

The name “Cradle of Humankind” explains the fact that a large number of fossils have been discovered at this site, some of which are the oldest hominid fossils ever found, dating back as far as 3.5 million years ago.

Currently there are over 200 caves on the site, with the possibility of even more being discovered. There are 13 official fossil sites which have been surveyed and examined extensively; producing fossils of human ancestors and their relatives. There have also been a variety of stone tools identified which were used by our human ancestors such as stone axes and scrapers.

The famous Sterkfontein Caves are located here, where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus was discovered in 1947 by Dr. Robert Broom and John T. Robinson.

The Sterkfontein Caves have produced more than a third of early hominids fossils ever found prior to 2010.

The dolomitic hills are 2.6bn years old, which is more than half the age of the Earth itself. The bedrock was once an ancient sea bed; fossils of blue-green algae can be found here, some of the earliest life on the planet.

Then came the dinosaurs, which ruled the roost for some time up to about 65 million years ago. Only about 3 million years ago did our human ancestors arrive.

It is clear that the Australopithecus africanus were present in the Cradle of Mankind from approximately 2-4 million years ago. It is commonly thought that these hominids or close relatives of them were likely to be human ancestors.

Another hominid which was found is the Paranthropus robustus it is generally considered to be a branch of the hominid family tree that became extinct.

It is now generally accepted that all human ancestors, including modern man, originated from the continent of Africa.

In more modern times the area was occupied by /Xam or similar Khoi-San, who lived on this land for around 30 000 years. Then the land became inhabited from the 1500''s or possibly much earlier by the Sotho-Tswana people who were later displaced by the Zulu General, Mzilikazi around 1820.

The Voortrekkers arrived in the 1840''s and populated the land along with other settlers who then gradually took possession of the land.

This site offers visitors a very interesting informative layout and understanding in the extent to which the land has developed and changed, and of how mankind and civilisation has evolved.

We hope to have motivated your choice to see the wonders of this beautiful world heritage site. Please stay with us when you do.

For more information about our guest house in Muldersdrift, please contact us.

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