REPORT ABOUT STERKFONTEIN CAVE TOUR (CRADLE OF HUMANKIND) on the 23 March 2006 PREPARED BY: RAMAPULANA NKOANA INTRODUCTIONThe directions to the Cradle of Humankind, the site lies in the Gauteng province and it covers 47000 hectares of land mostly privately owned. Sterkfontein Caves is located within the Isaac Edwin Stegmann Reserve about 10km from Krugersdorp. The cave was donated to the University of Witwatersrand by the Stegmann family. It contains a lot of dolomitic limestone caves containing the fossilised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and hominids. The dolomite, in which the caves formed, started out as coral reefs growing in a shallow sea about 2.3 billion years ago (pamphlet handled by Althey at CSIR before the tour, www.sa-venues.com
).The map below shows the direction to Sterkfontein Caves and it is located at Krugersdorp. Sterkfontein Caves are famous for the Mrs Ples in 1947 and little foot in 1997 world renowned hominid finds and also hundred of hominid fossils as well as stone tools have been found. It is donated to the University of Witwatersrand by the Stegmann family. The tourist guider (Rufus Mokwena) told us about the rules and to stay close to each other for safely reason on the arrival. On the way to the caves he explained every species that were on the gabbros. The species that we observed were Lystro sourus, Thrinaxodon which were the mammal-like reptile; other species were Euparkeria (Dinosaurs bird) and Massospondylus. The species that we observed which considered to be the most famous at Sterkfontein Caves were Lommon an ancestor of homo, Homo sapiens, Mrs Ples (scientific name:Astralopithecus africanus).CaveInside the cave we watched a video which shows Dr.Robert Broom discoveries; on the 17th August 1936 he had found the first adult skull of the 2, 6 to 3 million years old ape-man, Astralopithecus africanus. On the exit site there is a Robert Broom museum which have many hominid and fossils discovered.