Outing with Prof Kathy Kuman and Dr Matt Caruana
Sun, 23/06/2019 - 09:30
Date: Sunday, 23 June 2019 Time: Meet at 09:30 Sharp

Meet at: the parking lot to Sterkfontein caves, Cradle of Humankind (directions will be supplied)
Charge: Members R50, Non-members R80
Bring: Sun hat, sun-tan lotion, walking shoes, water and a picnic basket

Booking is essential: Contact Anne Raeburn or 083 455 4151 Places will only be confirmed once payment has been received.

Swartkrans is an important site in Gauteng’s Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, with hominid fossils, fauna and artefacts in a series of cave infills dating from well over 2 million years to ca 11,000 years ago. Research was first conducted here between 1948 and 1953 by Robert Broom and John Robinson. This was followed by C. K. (Bob) Brain’s systematic excavations between 1965 and 1986. Then after nearly two decades, a new era of research at the site led by Travis Pickering (University of Wisconsin at Madison) began in 2005. This visit to the site takes place during the annual University of Wisconsin field school. Prof Kuman will outline not only the history of research at Swartkrans and its major contributions to palaeoanthropology, but also some exciting new discoveries, including the identification and dating of the Oldowan deposit, excavation of an even older deposit recently identified below the Oldowan, and discovery of a new set of deposits in another cavern below the site. Kathleen Kuman taught Earlier and Middle Stone Age archaeology at Wits and her research is primarily on Oldowan and Acheulean sites in South Africa. Since 1991, she has worked on the archaeology of South Africa’s Cradle of Humankind World Heritage sites, including Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, Coopers, Goldsmith’s and the open-air site of Maropeng. Matthew Caruana has a PhD from Wits and his primary research interests focus on the analysis of Earlier Stone Age stone tools and reconstructing landscape use patterns of early hominin populations in southern Africa. Since moving to South Africa in 2009, he has conducted field work at numerous Plio-Pleistocene sites including the Amanzi Springs, Barberspan, Drimolen, Maropeng, Swartkrans Cave, the Taung World Heritage Site, as well as in the Koobi Fora formation in Kenya. He is currently involved in excavations and research at Amanzi Springs and Swartkrans Cave in South Africa.