Homo naledi’s surprisingly young age opens up more questions on where we come from

Wits University Media Release – 9 May 2017 Johannesburg. – Scientists today announced that the Rising Star Cave system has revealed yet more important discoveries, only a year and a half after it was announced that the richest fossil hominin site in Africa had been discovered, and that it contained a new hominin species named … Continued

The Lake Kariba expedition: Fossil adventures in Zimbabwe

At the start of the year, palaeontologist Kimberley Chapelle joined Prof Jonah Choiniere and a team of “Palaeo Pirates” on an expedition to explore Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. Fortunately, she lived to tell the tale. Below she recalls the adventure, in her own words: “In January 2017, I was unbelievably lucky enough to be part … Continued

Norwegian Centre of Excellence awarded to CoE-Pal Board Member from Wits, for early humans research

Congratulations to our own Prof. Chris Henshilwood, a Wits archaeologist who runs the Centre of Early Human Behaviour (EHB) at the University of Bergen (UiB), and who has received new research funding after the EHB was awarded Centre of Excellence status. Read the Wits media release below. Link: Wits University Media Release – 22 March 2017 … Continued

CoE Palaeo wins at SciFest!

  The DST NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences (CoE Palaeo) outreach workshop, entitled “Hands on human evolution”, and the CoE Palaeo standing exhibit at SciFest Africa 2017 proved extremely popular and won two awards! Images: CoE Palaeo’s Ian McKay, who also participated at SciFest Africa (above), and the awards received (below).        

DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences Hosts First Education and Outreach Workshop

From September 13-15, 2016, the CoE was host to approximately 30 participants, representing primarily informal palaeosciences education initiatives from around South Africa, but including participants from the National Museums in Kenya. Present were educators and researchers from the Albany Museum, the Ditsong Museum of Natural History, Iziko Museum, the National Geographic “Umsuka” Public Palaeoanthropology Project, … Continued

Visiting Olduvai Gorge

Recognise Sambo, a 3rd year BA student majoring in Archaeology, Anthropology, and Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand, recently visited Tanzania’s most famous site, Olduvai Gorge. Read about her experience there, and how the trip was made possible, in her own words:   I have visited Olduvai Gorge! Olduvai/Oldupai Gorge is the world’s best-known … Continued

Seminar on origins of the brain

On 21 September, JIAS, the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University, the Centre of Excellence for the Paleosciences, and the Royal Society of South Africa will hold a one-day seminar on ‘The Origins of the Brain – From Mammal-like Reptiles to Humans’. A limited number of seats are available. Those interesting in attending are requested … Continued

Learners from Oprah Winfrey girls’ school educated about opportunities for women in science

On the 15th of August 2016, the learners from Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls were fortunate enough to have an information session with Dr Christine Steininger from the Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences and Ms Recognize Sambo, a 3rd year student from Geology, Archaeology & Environmental Studies, both at the University of the Witwatersrand. … Continued

The fossils of Nieu-Bethesda – Visit South Africa’s own Permian Park…

Situated in the heart of the Karoo, in the picturesque town of Nieu-Bethedsa, and home of the famous Owl House, the Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre tells the story of life in South Africa 253 million years ago during the Permian Period. This was a time 50 million years before the first dinosaurs when the continents … Continued