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Vanderbijlpark/Sterkfontein, May 2nd 2015, Day 8

Picture: Diana Banmann

Picture: Diana Banmann

Today we get off to a sporty start for our group and take a jog around the block. After breakfast we drive to the Cradle of Humankind ("cradle of humanity") - also known as Maropeng, the Setswana word for "the place where we once lived."

In the sandstone caves, the fossilized remains of our ancestors have been found. Its derived of about 40 percent of the fossil hominid in Africa and around Sterkfontein. The area was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. We are told that here the first completely fossilized skull, named Mrs Ples, was found as well as the first complete skeleton named Littlefoot. Our route takes countless passages, climbing deep into the depths of the earth. There we admire the gigantic stalactite caves. In these caves there is a large kilometer-long lake, which to this day the full depth can’t be determined.

We also get to understand and fathom how the cave was formed. After the educational tour, we try to find a waterfall, which should not be far from the Cradle. Unfortunately we fail in this endeavor and drive back to our accommodation. After dinner, we take a taxi to Emerald Resort to a bar close to our village to listen to live African music. We swing to the amazement of those present on the dance floor. 

Other guests come into attendance as well, embracing the night. It develops into an intercultural exchange on the dance floor, learning many new dance steps demonstrated to us by the locals. Our typical European behavior seems to have been expected, but all are glad that we took to the dance floor. We are sad when the evening comes to a close but at the same time we know theres more ahead.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Wolf
Am Neuen Palais 10 
14469 Potsdam
Telefon: 0331/977-1494 
E-Mail: hgwolf@uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de, presse@uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de

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Text: Joana Schmidt, Katja Wiegand, Translation: Diana Banmann
Online-Editing: Agnes Bressa
Contact Us: onlineredaktion@uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de

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