Ambassador Farnaud visits the Cradle of Humankind
On Tuesday 9 May 2017, Ambassador of France to South Africa Christophe Farnaud visited the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cradle of Humankind, north-west of Johannesburg.
Ambassador Farnaud and his team were taken on a tour of the Sterkfontein Caves by French geomorphologist Dr. Laurent Bruxelles of the Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives (INRAP), currently researcher at IFAS-Recherche (scientific section of the French Institute in South Africa), also an honorary research fellow at the University of Witwatersrand. Ambassador Farnaud also visited the Kromdraai excavation site with paleontologist Professor Francis Thackeray of University of the Witwatersrand and French anthropobiologist and paleoanthropologist Professor José Braga of the Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier.
Ambassador Farnaud met with paleoanthropologist Professor Ron Clarke, honorary research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand, who discovered “Little Foot” in 1994. “Little Foot”, the almost complete, fossilised skeleton of an early form of the human ancestor Australopithecus, was hailed as one of the most remarkable discoveries ever in the field of palaeoanthropology when it was found deep inside a Sterkfontein cave, called the Silberberg Grotto.
According to research led by Laurent Bruxelles and others, "Little Foot" is 3.67 million years old. Read more here.
Read more about French-South African cooperation in archeology here.
Read more about French archaeological missions globally here.