Come Face-to-Face with hominins from The Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng

 

Hominins are brought to life by science and art in an exciting new exhibit at Maropeng, showcasing reconstructions of Homo naledi and Australopithecus sediba by world-renowned palaeoartist John Gurche.

The Cradle of Humankind has produced multiple discoveries of ancient species much like our own. These hominins, as they are known, have unearthed the deep roots of human origins in South Africa. The fossils left behind provide a glimpse into the lives of these mystifying creatures and although we may never know what they look like with absolute certainty, scientific research, combined with artistic and thoughtful imagination, brings us a step closer to coming face to face with them.

From skull and skeleton to face and body, the exhibition explores and brings us face to face with these relatives of all of humankind through reconstructions by scientists and artists. The exhibition presents the opportunity, for the very first time in South Africa, to compare face to face the bust reconstructions of Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi by world renowned palaeoartist John Gurche.

“In our quest to understand our ancient ancestors, we can measure their bones, reconstruct the environments they lived in and study any artifacts they left behind. But for many people, this is not enough. For many, the ultimate way of ‘knowing’ someone is to see their face.”- John Gurche, artist

The Cradle of Humankind was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1999 and received global recognition because of the astonishing number, and diversity, of hominin fossil finds made at multiple sites. These discoveries span over 100 years of excavation, many sites are still productive today and new sites continue to be revealed, cementing South Africa’s position as one of the most important regions in understanding human origins. Not only is this area of incredible global scientific value, but it is a key player in the local and national tourism industry.

“We are extremely proud to launch this exhibit at Maropeng. Following a difficult time for the heritage and tourism sectors, this new offering will contribute toward our recovery. This exhibit was designed with the purpose of showcasing the science that follows discoveries but more importantly to allow us to connect with our past.”- Kimberleigh Tommy, Curator of Maropeng and Sterkfontein Official Visitor Centres.

The exhibit will open to the public on Friday 7 October 2022 at Maropeng. Get your tickets today! Entrance to the exhibition is included in the normal Maropeng ticket price (R100). Tickets can be booked online at Webtickets and card payment is available on site. Please note that Maropeng is a cashless environment.

For media interviews contact:

Nonhlanhla Mbethe
GTA Media specialist
nonhlanhla@gauteng.net

Jabu Moagi
Deputy Director Marketing and PR
Jabu.Moagi@gauteng.gov.za

Kimberleigh Tommy
Curator: Maropeng and Sterkfontein Official Visitor Centres
kimberleight@maropeng.co.za

 

Picture captions

Picture 1: Reconstruction of Homo naledi by John Gurche in the Face to Face exhibit on display at Maropeng
Picture 2: Reconstruction of Australopithecus sediba by John Gurche in the Face to Face exhibit on display at Maropeng
Picture 3: Reconstruction of Australopithecus sediba skeleton in the Face to Face exhibit on display at Maropeng
Picture 4: New Face to Face exhibit on display at Maropeng from 7 October 2022

Picture credit: Daniel Pushamo (for all images)

 

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