Sterkfontein Caves


Sterkfontein Caves

The Palaeo-Anthropological Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand has been excavating at Sterkfontein continuously since 1968, and more than 550 hominid fossil specimens have been found including ‘Mrs Ples’ and ‘Little Foot’ . The caves are famed for the discovery of an entire australopithecine skull together with its skeleton which was discovered by Dr Ron Clarke. Owing to its great age (between about 3.2 and 3.5 million years) and completeness, this is regarded as the most important fossil find in South Africa since the Taung skull. Underlying the old quarry is an extensive system of younger caves containing an underground lake and many limestone formations, part of which is open to tourists.

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The Sterkfontien cave system, about 12km north of Krugersdorp in Gauteng, is the site of some of the most important discoveries concerning human evolution.

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