Cradle of Life: The Story of the Magaliesberg and the Cradle of Humankind, by Vincent Carruthers
The geographical area covered in Cradle of Life: The Story of the Magaliesberg and the Cradle of Humankind by Vincent Carruthers, includes the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve in which it lies.
For many years I have been intrigued by the area now known as the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve. Here, close to the throbbing cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane/Pretoria, lies the evidence of the long and complex story of the origins of life - not only the hominin fossil record for which it is most famous, but the entire evolution of our living environment. I have derived a lifelong pleasure from hiking, observing, reading and working professionally in this rocky countryside and, from the generously shared expertise of others, I have learned to enjoy and respect its magnetic charm. Over the years, I have tried to convey some of that fascination in talks and in other publications about the Magaliesberg and I hope to do so further in this work by exploring the full evolutionary history revealed in this landscape. Many people have helped to make my pursuit of the story of the Cradle-Magaliesberg such a rewarding experience. There have been adventurous field trips, interesting discussions over long Sunday lunches and hikes along winding paths with wonderful friends. Tim Partridge and Tony Brink introduced me to the unique geomorphology, and the ever-cheerful Phil Bonner shared his unequalled knowledge of the history of the people of the Cradle. Revil Mason was the first to show me the archaeological richness of the region in the 1970s, and Lee Berger fired my enthusiasm for paleoanthropology a decade later. Kevin Gill taught me about the botany and Paul Fatti encouraged me to join the Mountain Club of South Africa as part of their dedicated defence of the environment. At the time of the centenary of the South African War, I accompanied John Pennefather and the Rustenburg Military History Group on some wonderfully informative field trips to the battlefields in the Magaliesberg area, and the history of that war has become an abiding interest of mine. With the emergence of a new political dispensation in South Africa in the 1990s, opportunities arose to broaden the heritage estate of the country and make it more inclusive. I was privileged to participate in the consulting teams that prepared plans for the Cradle World Heritage Site and associated developments. On those projects I worked alongside and learned a great deal from colleagues who were archaeologists, palaeontologists and environmental lawyers with prodigious knowledge of the Cradle region. Other assignments brought me into contact with landowners of the area, and some favourite times were spent on the properties of Prospero Bailey, John Nash and his family, Mark and Christine Read, Hennie Joubert, and owners of the Rhenosterspruit Conservancy, all of whom were embracing the World Heritage Site concept in the early 2000s. In 2004, Belinda Bozzoli, then Deputy Vice-Principal Research of the University of the Witwatersrand, invited me to work with Neville Passmore of the Skye Foundation to help develop plans for the newly established Institute for Human Evolution (IHE) and to define terms of reference for its director. Seven years later the university amalgamated the IHE with the Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research and I was again asked to prepare plans for the emergent Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI). These projects were among the most instructive assignments of my career and I benefitted enormously from the discussions I had with scientists, administrators and funders. [...]
This is an excerpt from Cradle of Life: The Story of the Magaliesberg and the Cradle of Humankind, by Vincent Carruthers.
Title: Cradle of Life
Subtitle: The Story of the Magaliesberg and the Cradle of Humankind
Author: Vincent Carruthers
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Imprint: Struik Nature
Cape Town, South Africa 2019
ISBN 9781775845973 / ISBN 978-1-77-584597-3
Softcover, 18 x 23 cm, 256 pages, throughout colour images, maps
Carruthers, Vincent im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Cradle of Life: The Story of the Magaliesberg and the Cradle of Humankind
Cradle of Life: The Story of the Magaliesberg and the Cradle of Humankind landscape races the entire story of life by exploring the history of the Cradle-Magaliesberg landscape.
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