Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert


  • Dominic StratfordEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_107


The paleoanthropological sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, and Kromdraai lie within two miles of each other along the Blaauwbank River valley about 50 km northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, in the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Cradle of Humankind. From a paleoanthropological perspective, all three sites have been researched for over 50 years and have yielded specimens of Australopithecus africanus and Australopithecus prometheus (at Sterkfontein) (Clarke, 2013), Paranthropus robustus (at Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, and Kromdraai) (Kuman and Clarke, 2000; Braga and Thackeray, 2003; Pickering et al., 2012), and early Homo (at Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, and Kromdraai) (Kuman and Clarke, 2000; Braga and Thackeray, 2003; Grine, 2005). In addition to large assemblages of associated fauna, these sites are of particular interest because they have yielded three of the earliest stone tool assemblages known from South Africa and represent rare examples of sites with...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental StudiesUniversity of the WitwatersrandWitwatersrandSouth Africa
  2. 2.Sterkfontein Caves Palaeoanthropological SiteJohannesburgSouth Africa