The origin of our genus, Homo, is one of the most hotly debated topics in science. Early Homo fossils from Drimolen and Haasgat have been dated to older than 1.95 million years. This makes them the oldest well-dated specimens of Homo in South Africa and contemporary with fossils that have been suggested to be ancestral to the genus Homo. The origin of Homo has been associated with a period of increased aridity and significant environmental change that impacted the regional adaptation and evolution of mammal species. Our aim is to reconstruct the landscape hominins were roaming in South Africa between 2.6 and 1.8 million years for the first time and help understand this changing world and the processes that drove our evolutionary history



Emergence of Genus Homo in South Africa

Left: Contour map showing South African Cradle sites with excavation sites (Haasgat and Drimolen) and additional landscape sample sites (Bolt’s Farm, Plovers Lake, Hoogland) Middle: The varying topography of the Sterkfontein Valley versus the incited topography near Haasgat. Right (Top) The Haasgat HGT500 early Homo molar (scale: 1cm). (Bottom) The Drimolen DNH7 Paranthropus robustus skull (the most complete).

Meet DNH7 with Dr Colin Menter

Related Projects