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F A C T    S H E E T S    &    D O W N L O A D S

In celebration of African Origins Month 2007, SAASTA produced a series of animations which were flighted on national television during September. The animation is available for download, but please be warned that it is a large file and will take some time to download.


Archaeology Animated clip [7Mb]


In celebration of African Origins Month 2006, SAASTA produced a series of printed cartoons which appeared in the media and are still available for download in PDF format.



Mrs Ples cartoon [3Mb]
Blombos cartoon [2Mb]


EasyScience: Fascinating dinosaurs of South Africa

The story of life on Earth begins many millions of years before the first human beings appeared. Scientists estimate that the age of the Earth is about 4.6 billion years. The oldest known forms of life are the fossils of simple bacteria and algae, over 3.5 billion years old.

Cradle of Humankind Video Clips
Download and view a selection of video clips related to the Cradle of Humankind.

Fact sheet: Australopitheus Debates & Discoveries
Many fossil discoveries have been made in the Cradle of Humankind. The most exciting involve the discovery of and research on our earliest ancestors and their relatives. The Cradle of Humankind is particularly well known for the large number of australopithecine specimens (a small brained, upright hominid) excavated from various sites. This theme presents some of the more recent discoveries and some of the debates about these early hominids.

Fact sheet: The Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind is located in north-western Gauteng. Here a bed of dolomite that was laid down around 2.5 billion years ago contains a number of key fossil sites, - sites that have captured the remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and most importantly, hominids (i.e. our early ancestors and their relatives).

Fact sheet: Tools and Technology
Tools are objects or devices that we use to do a job more efficiently. We can think of them as an extension of our body that allows us to modify or manipulate things in our environment for our benefit. Only Hominids (humans and our near relatives) have a hand with a long thumb capable of touching all the other fingers. This kind of hand allows us to grip and manipulate objects. By 1.6 million our ancestors had invented more specialised tools like handaxes and cleavers.

Fact sheet: African Connexions
This theme is intended to take a closer look at our African connection. It not only touches on fossil evidence that indicates our earliest ancestors had their home in Africa, it also introduces results from genetic research that supports this argument.