Supplementary Material

The Sterkfontein Caves after Eighty Years of Paleoanthropological Research: The Journey Continues

ABSTRACT The Sterkfontein Caves, the richest Australopithecus-bearing site in the world, occupies a crucial position in the history of South African scientific inquiry and has been pivotal to the development of the field of paleoanthropology. The site is physically and culturally embedded in the foundations of Johannesburg and is recognized as being one of the world’s most important cultural heritage resources. The year 2016 was the eightieth anniversary of the discovery of the first adult Australopithecus by Robert Broom at Sterkfontein in 1936, a find that inspired three generations of paleoanthropological research throughout South Africa’s Cradle of Humankind. Since this discovery, through fortune or dedicated research efforts, Sterkfontein has provided some of the most crucial clues to the complexities of our evolutionary past. In an auspicious year, 150 years since Robert Broom’s birth, eighty years since Broom’s discovery, and fifty years since Tobias’s inauguration of a new Sterkfontein research program, this article presents a brief review of the history of research at Sterkfontein and its role in the development of the field of paleoanthropology. In light of this juncture, this article contributes two consolidated resources: a literature archive and a consolidated record of excavation-diary entries since 1967. [Sterkfontein, Australopithecus, Cradle of Humankind, paleoanthropology, Robert Broom]


Click to download the Sterkfontein 1967-2013 Diary Master Catalog as an Excel spreadsheet and the Sterkfontein Bibliography as a docxtxt, or PDF file. Other formats of the diary catalog and bibliography are available here.

Excavations of the Sterkfontein Member 4* deposits circa 1987. Simon Sekowe, site foreman, sits on the deposit in the foreground, Nkwane Molefe stands at the base of the excavation, and Mishaka Maghotokha stands in the background. (Photograph by Alun Hughes and courtesy of Ron Clarke)

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