First Counsellor Charlotte Montel visits Maropeng
First counsellor of the Embassy of France, Charlotte Montel, spent Heritage Day (24 September 2015) at Maropeng (Cradle of Humankind) on the invitation of Gauteng Premier David Makhura in the presence of Prof. Lee Berger at the Cradle of Humankind to celebrate Homo naledi and through it “the common African origin of Humankind”.
The Homo naledi fossils will be exhibited until at the Maropeng museum until October 11 before being repatriated to University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) archives. On Friday 25 September, casts of the Homo naledi fossils were sent to the UK and the US for exhibition.
On 10 September, the scientific cooperation service of the French Embassy, attended the announcement of the discovery of a new species of this human relative, called Homo naledi, at the Cradle of Humankind. Prof Berger, research professor in the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, led the two expeditions that discovered and recovered the fossils. Read more here.
The Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the richest areas in the world for fossils of hominids (or human ancestors) and various associated extinct and existing animals. The wealth of fossils in this region has greatly contributed to document the context and mechanisms of human evolution in the southern part of the African continent. Among the sites from the Cradle of Humankind, Sterkfontein and Swartkrans, located about 50 km north- west of Johannesburg, are especially remarkable.
The Embassy of France in South Africa will soon celebrate the 20th anniversary of Franco-South African cooperation in archeology. Read more here.