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Human Origins in Africa

Is Africa truly the cradle of humankind? The oldest fossils of humankind's early ancestors have been found on the African continent. Other scientific evidence supports Africa's significant role in human evolution.

Hominid Fossils in Kenya and Ethiopia
Discoveries in Africa in 2001 alter our understanding of our family tree.

Humankind's African Origins
The number of recognised hominid species which form part of our greater family tree is growing. Find out where and when each of these many species was discovered.

Hominid Fossils in Kenya and Ethiopia
Two major discoveries in Kenya, Orrorin tugenensis and Kenyanthropus platyops, as well as a yet unnamed find of a young hominid in Ethiopia, have added to the debate about the human family tree.

Pre-Colonial cultures in South Africa: San and Khoikhoi
Two thousand years ago the first of several waves colonists swept into South Africa. Each time a new wave arrived the existing populations were marginalised. In the first of these waves, the pastoralist Khoikhoi moved down into the western and southern coastal regions - pushing the hunter-gatherer San inland.

Cradle of Humankind
A detailed description of this World Heritage Site (actually a collection of twelve distinct sites) in South Africa. It was here that the complete 3.5 million year old skeleton called Little Foot was discovered in 1998.

Lucy: An Ancestor of Humankind Named after a Beatles' Song
A detailed description of the discovery and scientific study of Lucy - the Australopithecus afarensis fossil found at Hadar, Ethiopia in November, 1974

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