Outing to Bolt’s Farm in the Cradle of Humankind
Guided by Dr Nonny Vilakazi
Wed, 17/04/2024 - 09:00
Outing to Bolt’s Farm in the Cradle of Humankind
Guided by Dr Nonny Vilakazi

Date: Wednesday, 17 April 2024 
Time: 09h00 for 09h30 
Parking: Meet at the parking at Greensleeves. 
Charge: members R50, non-members: R150.

Bolt's Farm is a fauna-bearing area with distinct loci that is part of the UNESCO Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.  It is known to have produced some big felids, including the nearly whole skull found at Pit 23 that is connected to Dinofelis barlowi's jaw. Additionally, it has produced a rather significant collection of non-hominid primates, including the well-preserved skull of Cercopithecoides williamsi (BF 42) and the peculiar skull of Parapapio (BF 43). Additionally, Waypoint 160 (the oldest known fossil deposit in the Cradle of Humankind through biochronology) is found in Bolt’s Farm. In the past few years, the team has found several new and significant fossils, including an upper molar of Mylomygale sp. at BPA, a few teeth of a Tetraconodontinae (Gerontochoerus koobiforaensis) at BPB, and a fragmentary skull of a bald ibis (Geronticus calvus) at BPB now G. thackerayi. The finding of Gerontochoerus koobiforaensis teeth indicates a connection to East Africa. Other taxa most likely travelled between East and Southern Africa; one such taxon could be hominids. This is one illustration of how biodiversity changed in South Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene.
Dr. Nonny Vilakazi is a Palaeontologist at UJ (focusing on palaeo-herpetology) and a co-permit holder of Bolt’s Farm Karstic System. She deems the significance of the fossil reptiles lies in their ability to provide valuable insights into the ecosystem's evolution and changes over time. Reptiles are recognized to be bio-indicators, meaning they can reveal information about the palaeoenvironment because of their high sensitivity to temperature.
Link to the parking lot at Greensleeves, where we’ll park.
Bolt’s Farm is about 2.5 kms south-west of Sterkfontein Caves. 
There will be walking of about 20 minutes to the first site so wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat, bring sunblock and drinking water. 
There is unfortunately no suitable place for a picnic lunch, but participants may book for lunch if they so wish at Greensleeves, at their own cost. 

Please take note of the following important information about booking and payment:
Contact Anne Raeburn to book, preferably by email: anner@mweb.co.za or if email not available then by phone: 072 349 6507.
Do not pay until you have confirmed your booking with Anne.
If you pay before your booking is confirmed and an outing is already fully booked, we must refund your payment. This entails a lot of extra work.
Please deposit the fee in the BRANCH account given below (and NOT in the Cape Town membership account). SA Archaeological Society, Standard Bank, Account number 001 945 920 Reference: SURNAME and EVENT. Send the deposit slip to Anne Raeburn e-mail anner@mweb.co.za or cell: 072 349 6507. If you pay by cash or cheque, you must please add R40 for bank fees. 

Please take note of the following guidelines for outings: 
1. Arrive on time and immediately report to the committee member who has the attendance register. 2. Sign the attendance register and indemnity form. 
3. Only people who have booked and pre-paid may come on outings, we do not accept bookings or cash on the day. 
4. Stay with the group. We do our best to stick to time schedules.
Since the group will be limited to 25 visitors it is advisable to book promptly if you wish to participate in this outing.

Report back on Outing to Bolts Farm, Cradle of Humankind on 17 April 2024