Human Origins Tour
We offer a unique art-history tour of treasures housed in the one-hundred-and-ninety-five-year-old South African Museum, located in central Cape Town.
South Africa claims to be the number one contender to be named The Place of Human Origins.
We offer a unique art-history tour of treasures housed in the one-hundred-and-ninety-five-year-old South African Museum, located in central Cape Town. It is SA’s oldest museum, with a contentious history, a transformational agenda, and rich cultural, scientific and art holdings.
This museum houses extraordinary treasures, and we aim to show you a few rare and irreplaceable spiritual and sacred objects, that will engage and delight you. You will be enchanted by the objects and the art that you encounter – including the world-famous Linton Panels, which are three large rock art fragments depicting the communal lives of the San as hunters and shamans.
On this 2-hour tour you will discover the very earliest evidence of ancient human symbolic behavior, dating back to the Middle Stone Age, a hundred thousand years ago and more. Bones, stones, animal and plant material, tools and re-worked shells, and magnificent examples of rock art, depict the lives of the earliest humans to walk the planet. The South African Museum holds significant evidence in the form of the ochre, quartz, stone and shell artefacts – evidence which tells part of the story contained in this tour. Ongoing archeological research and the search for pre-historic DNA, is attempting to establish links between the oldest human DNA known on the planet, that of the Khoisan peoples, to very early homo sapiens.
You will hear historic accounts of the /Xam Khoisan people, who are the earliest inhabitants of the Cape region.
You will learn about the theories and interpretations of key scientists. This has involved the investment of hundreds of millions of Rands in research, both at rock art sites and Middle Stone Age sites, and in laboratories and research institutes, in South Africa, Oslo, France, the USA, Britain, Spain and other parts of the world.
The SA Museum is one of South Africa’s major legal deposits for such rare treasures. These important archeological materials have been gathered by several in-house and independent teams of archeologists and researchers, local and international, over many decades.
The tour will be led by a former Director of the Origins Centre, University of the Witwatersrand.