Caves of the Ape-men: South Africa's Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site

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S.E. Publications, 2010 - Science - 149 pages
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The unique fossils featured in Caves of the Ape-Men were excavated at cave-sites which today are clustered within the first World Heritage Site to be proclaimed in South Africa under the auspices of UNESCO. This is a hard back, full colour, coffee table book which includes excellent visuals of the area, a brief account of its history, and an accessible assessment of its importance for understanding the emergence of hominids—the early creatures transitional between the great apes and man—and, later, some of the earliest representatives of our own species.

This publication is based on short text boxes interspersed with illustrations of key fossil specimens as old as four million years. Also included are reconstructions of how these hominids might have appeared and the dramatic landscapes within which they were discovered.

Three scientific books on different aspects of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site have appeared recently. No informative, lavishly illustrated book has, however, been produced for purchase by the many international and local tourists who visit the area. As Sterkfontein is the richest single fossil hominid site in the world it deserves to be promoted as one of the foremost tourist attractions in Africa, along with half a dozen other local sites also immensely rich in fossil specimens. Together, these sites proclaim South Africa as one of the key areas which saw the emergence of human ancestors in the distant past.

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About the author (2010)

Ronald J. Clarke is a reader in palaeoanthropology in the Institute for Human Evolution and the School of Anatomical Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Timothy C. Partridge was an earth scientist at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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