Day four - Johannesburg,
6th October 2007

Today I drove into town and had a lengthy visit to the University of Witwatersrand's Origins Centre. The origins of man are on display here - and many noted academics like David Lewis-Williams who I have been corresponding with ave played a major role in revealing the importance of San (Bushman) paintings as spiritual objects. Entranc is just ZAR45 - and excllent value. My guide Brian took me around.

The Origins Centre sits on top of a hill in a very plain looking building but the display and interactive kiosks right through the exhibition are exceptionally well done. There are large screens and constantly running films on the San language, stone age stones - and of course a section set up by Pippa Skotness - who I hope to meet up with while in Cape Town.

In 2000 archeologists discovered the oldest known artwork in the world at Blombos Cave - a 75,000 year old piece - there is a sample you can "touch" which is nothing more than imagery - yet I was able to photograph it!

There is also a replica of the Makgabeng Shelter - located in northern South Africa where the San actually rew a train - and the impact of white man on them! Chief Maleboho of the Hananwa clan was arrested by Paul Kruger's boers  in 1894 and the picture shows him being taken aeay in the train. Fascinating - see image below.

Also shown below are replicas of some famous early human skulls including Raymond Dart's Taung Child - I have his signature on one of his papers.

After watching the Wallabies lose narrowly to England (10-12) in the world rugby cup I met with my children Richard and Kerry-Leigh having dinner at the Butcher's Grill in Mandela Square.

Richard (who got eight straight High Distinction As in year 12 last year) is studying to be an electrical engineer. Sasol are sponsoring his University education - bright boy!

I got home after 9pm - all the power was out - and I stumbled my way back to bed t the Klip Kop cottage.

More about the trials of packing in the dark in the early hours of he morning - for my flight to Durban tomorrow! 

Another white beggar

My signed books for sale in

the shelves of Exclusive Books

Stone age impliments

The oldest art in the world

More stone age impliments

My guide Brian

Australopithecus Boisei (left) (Nutcracker Man) from Tanzania
Sahelanthropus (right) - Chad

Parenthropus Robustus (Swartkrans SA);
Australopithecus Afarensis (Lucy) from Ethiopia

Australopithecus Aficanus
(Taung Child)

Home Ergaster and Rudolfensis (Kenya),
Homo Habilis (Tanzania)

The migration of man from East Africa

Original and classic San painting

San rainmaker gear

The famous train painting

Part of Pippa's display

My book for sale at the
Origins centre

Proud dad with
Kerry Leigh and Richard

Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour