Roberta Writes – Thursday Doors: Maropeng Visitors Centre

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

During our recent trip to Magaliesburg, we visited The Cradle of Mankind which includes Sterkfontein Caves and The Maropeng Visitor Centre.

I wrote about our trip to the Sterkfontein Caves here:

Later that afternoon, we visited Maropeng. This is what the website says:

“The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an award-winning, world-class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years.

Take a journey through time, starting with the formation of the planet and moving all the way through the evolutionary processes that culminated in the world as we know it today.

See fossils, learn about how humankind was born, view stone tools that are up to one million years old, and much more. This self-guided, interactive tour allows you to take all the time you need to ponder humanity’s fascinating origin story.” Read more here:

Picture taken from the restaurant and visitors shop area. These were both closed due to Covid.
My boys and I outside the entrance.

The tour starts with an underground boat trip through the four elements, Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind.

The main reason for our visit to Maropeng was to see the artifacts of Lucy.

“Lucy” is the nickname of one of the most well-known human ancestor fossils. The partial skeleton of Lucy was discovered in November 1974  Dr. Donald Johanson and his graduate student, Tom Gray, while walking across 3.2 million year old sediments at the site of Hadar, Ethiopia. You can read more about Lucy here:

The other big attraction for me were the Little Foot artifacts.

“Little Foot”, an extraordinary fossilised skeleton of an early form of Australopithecus, is 3.67-million years old, making it the oldest known hominid from the Cradle of Humankind. The finding of Little Foot, deep inside a Sterkfontein cavern, was one of the most remarkable discoveries ever made in the field of palaeoanthropology. You can read the story of poor Little Foot here:

Last but not least, I enjoyed this display of the evolution of mankind:

If you are interested in ancient history, you should have a look at Jacqui Murray’s site and books here:

Jacqui Murray has two series about ancient man. The first is the Dawn of Humanity series and the second is the Crossroads series. You can find out more about Jacqui’s books here:

Born in a Treacherous Time (Dawn of Humanity Book 1) Kindle Edition

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59 thoughts on “Roberta Writes – Thursday Doors: Maropeng Visitors Centre

  1. This looks like it was a fascinating tour, Robbie.When you look at the entrance, there’s no clue as to what all you’re going to find. The exhibits you saw are amazing. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Dan, I’m glad you enjoyed this post. One of my good friends works in the geology department at Wits University so she always lets me know about good exhibitions and other activities by their paleontology section. She has also helped me purchase some excellent rocks for my collection. I must share those some time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an interesting place! I remember learning about Lucy when I took anthropology in college. It’s fascinating to ponder about what life was like in those times with no technology. I think that’s why I enjoyed Jean Auel’s books that started with Clan of the Cave Bear.

    Liked by 1 person

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