Robert Broom FRS FRSE was a Scottish South African doctor and paleontologist. He qualified as a practitioner in 1895 and received his DSc in 1905 from the University of Glasgow. He was born at 66 Back Sneddon Street in Paisley, the son of John Broom, a designer of prints and Paisley shawls. In 1893 he married Mary Baird Baillie, in his medical studies at the University of Glasgow Broom specialised in midwifery. After graduating in 1895 he travelled to Australia, supporting himself by practising medicine and he settled in South Africa in 1897, just prior to the South African War. From 1903 to 1910 he was professor of Zoology and Geology at Victoria College, Stellenbosch and he established a medical practice in the Karoo region of South Africa, an area rich in Therapsid fossils. Based on his studies of these fossils and mammalian anatomy he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1920. He died in Pretoria in South Africa in 1951, Broom was first known for his study of mammal-like reptiles. After Raymond Darts discovery of the Taung Child, an infant australopithecine, Brooms career seemed over and he was sinking into poverty, when Dart wrote to Jan Smuts about the situation.
Smuts, exerting pressure on the South African government, managed to obtain a position for Broom in 1934 with the staff of the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria as an Assistant in Palaeontology, in 1937, Broom made his most famous discovery of Paranthropus robustus. These discoveries helped support Darts claims for the Taung species, the remainder of Brooms career was devoted to the exploration of these sites and the interpretation of the many early hominin remains discovered there. He continued to write to the very last, shortly before his death he finished a monograph on the Australopithecines and remarked to his nephew, Now thats finished. Broom was a nonconformist and was interested in the paranormal and spiritualism. Broom was a believer in spiritual evolution, in his book The Coming of Man, Was it Accident or Design. He claimed that spiritual agencies had guided evolution as animals and plants were too complex to have arisen by chance, according to Broom, there were at least two different kinds of spiritual forces, and psychics are capable of seeing them.
Broom claimed there was a plan and purpose in evolution and that the origin of Homo sapiens is the purpose behind evolution. According to Broom Much of evolution looks as if it had planned to result in man. After discovering the skull of Mrs. Ples, Broom was asked if he excavated at random, Broom replied that spirits had told him where to find his discoveries, the South Africa Fossil Ape-Men, The Australopithecinae
North West (South African province)
North West is a province of South Africa. The province is located to the west of the population centre of Gauteng. North West was created after the end of Apartheid in 1994, merafong has since been transferred to Gauteng province in 2009. The provincial government consists of a premier, a council of ten ministers. The provincial assembly and premier are elected for terms, or until the next national election. Political parties are awarded assembly seats based on the percentage of each party receives in the province during the national elections. The assembly elects a premier, who appoints the members of the executive council. The premier of North West Province as of 21 May 2014 is Supra Mahumapelo of the African National Congress and he replaced Thandi Modise as premier after the 2014 general election. Much of the consists of flat areas of scattered trees. The Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast extends about 130 km from Pretoria to Rustenburg, the Vaal River flows along the southern border of the province.
Temperatures range from 17° to 31 °C in the summer and from 3° to 21 °C in the winter, annual rainfall totals about 360 mm, with almost all of it falling during the summer months, between October and April. The North West province has 4 district municipalities and 19 local municipalities, the chief minerals are gold, mined at Orkney and Klerksdorp, mined at Klerksdorp, mined at Rustenburg and Brits, and diamonds, mined at Lichtenburg and Bloemhof. The northern and western parts of the province have many farms and cattle. The eastern and southern parts are crop-growing regions that produce maize, tobacco, the entertainment and casino complex at Sun City and Lost City contributes to the provincial economy. The majority of the residents are the Tswana people who speak Tswana. Smaller groups include Afrikaans and Xhosa speaking people, english is spoken primarily as a second language. Most of the population belong to Christian denominations, according to the 2007 community survey 90. 8% of the provinces population was Black,7.
2% as White,1. 6% as Coloured and 0. 4% as Asian. The 2007 community survey showed the province had a population of just over 3 million, the provinces white population is very unevenly distributed
Timeline of human evolution
The timeline of human evolution outlines the major events in the development of the human species, Homo sapiens, and the evolution of our ancestors. It includes brief explanations of some of the species and this timeline is based on studies from anthropology, developmental biology and from anatomical and genetic data. It does not address the origin of life, which discussion is provided by abiogenesis, a caution, Other than Mr Haeckels historic and emblematic tree, this article provides no phylogenetics analysis to help portray the complex, nonlinear facts of human evolution. One of several lines of descent, or taxonomic ranking
Homo naledi is an extinct species of hominin, which anthropologists first described in 2015 and have assigned to the genus Homo. In 2013, fossil skeletons were found in South Africas Gauteng province, in the Rising Star Cave system, as of 10 September 2015, fossils of at least fifteen individuals, amounting to over 1550 specimens, have been excavated from the cave. The skeletal anatomy presents ancestral features known from australopithecines with more recent features associated with hominins, the fossils have not been chronometrically dated, but estimates derived from statistical analysis of cranial traits have yielded a range of 2 million years to 912,000 years before present. The fossils were discovered by recreational cavers Rick Hunter and Steven Tucker in 2013, other experts contend more analyses are needed to support this classification. There are some indications that the individuals may have been placed in the cave near the time of their death. The word naledi means star in the Sotho language and it, and the corresponding name Dinaledi Chamber, were chosen to reference the Rising Star cave system where the fossils were found.
This chute led to a room 30 m underground, the surface of which was littered with fossil bones, before exploring the cave that day, the cavers had been asked by fellow caver and geologist Pedro Boshoff to let him know if they came across any fossils. On October 1,2013, photos were shown to Boshoff who recognized their significance, in total, over 1,550 pieces of bone belonging to at least fifteen individuals have been recovered from the clay-rich sediments. The layered distribution of the bones suggests that they had deposited over a long time. Only one square meter of the chamber has been excavated. Around 300 bone fragments were collected from the surface of the Dinaledi Chamber, the fossils include skulls, ribs, bones of an almost complete foot, of a hand, and of an inner ear. The bones of old and infants were found, the description of the new species was announced at a press conference on September 10,2015 held at Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. A display case of the fossils was unveiled during the ceremony and was subsequently on display to the public at Maropeng throughout September and October 2015, the University of the Witwatersrand is the curator of the fossils.
The skeletal anatomy displays plesiomorphic features found in the australopithecines and more apomorphic features known from hominins, adult males are estimated to have stood around 150 cm tall and weighed around 45 kg, while females would likely have been a little shorter and weighed a little less. An analysis of H. naledis skeleton suggests it stood upright and was bipedal and its hip mechanics, the flared shape of the pelvis are similar to australopithecines, but its legs and ankles are more similar to the genus Homo. The hands of H. naledi appear to have better suited for object manipulation than those of australopithecines. Some of the bones resemble modern human bones, and other bones are more primitive than Australopithecus, the thumb and palm bones are modern-like while the fingers are curved, more australopithecine, and useful for climbing. The shoulders are configured largely like those of australopithecines, the vertebrae are most similar to Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, whereas the ribcage is wide distally like A. afarensis
Gauteng, which means place of gold, is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. It was formed part of the old Transvaal Province after South Africas first all-race elections on 27 April 1994. It was initially named Pretoria–Witwatersrand–Vereeniging and was renamed Gauteng in December 1994, situated in the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa, accounting for only 1. 5% of the land area. Nevertheless, it is highly urbanised, containing the countrys largest city, its capital, Pretoria. As of 2015, it has a population of nearly 13.2 million, the name Gauteng is derived from the Sotho name, gauta meaning gold with the locative suffix -eng. There was a thriving industry in the province following the 1886 discovery of gold in Johannesburg. In Sesotho, the name Gauteng was used for Johannesburg and surrounding areas long before it was adopted in 1994 as the name of a province. Gauteng, formerly known as Pretoria–Witwatersrand–Vereeniging, was carved out of the old Transvaal province in 1994, although the terminology PWV, after the discovery of gold in 1886, the region proceeded to become the single largest gold producer in the world and the city of Johannesburg was founded.
The older city Pretoria was not subject to the same attention, Pretoria grew at a slower rate and was highly regarded due to its role in the Second Boer War. The Cullinan Diamond which is the largest diamond ever mined was mined near Pretoria in a town called Cullinan in the year 1905. Gauteng has only been documented since the 1800s and as a result. At the Sterkfontein caves, some of the oldest fossils of hominids have been discovered, such as Mrs. Ples, the Apartheid Museum stands testament to these struggles in Johannesburg. Gauteng is governed by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, a 73-person unicameral legislature elected by party-list proportional representation. The most recent election of the legislature was held on 7 May 2014, and the African National Congress won 53. 59% of the vote. The official opposition is the Democratic Alliance, which won 30. 78% of the vote and 23 seats, other parties represented are the Economic Freedom Fighters with eight seats and the Freedom Front Plus and the Inkatha Freedom Party with one seat each.
Premier David Makhura of the ANC was elected on 21 May 2014, the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa, which has seats in Pretoria and Johannesburg, is a superior court with general jurisdiction over the province. Johannesburg is home to the Constitutional Court, South Africas highest court, Gautengs southern border is the Vaal River, which separates it from the Free State. It borders on North West to the west, Limpopo to the north, Gauteng is the only landlocked province of South Africa without a foreign border
Homo sapiens is the binomial nomenclature for the only extant human species. Homo is the genus, which includes Neanderthals and many other extinct species of hominid. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, which differentiates them from what has been argued to be their direct ancestor, the binomial name Homo sapiens was coined by Carl Linnaeus. The Latin noun homō means man, human being, subspecies of H. sapiens include Homo sapiens idaltu and the only extant subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens. Some sources show Neanderthals as a subspecies, the discovered specimens of the Homo rhodesiensis species have been classified by some as a subspecies, but these last two subspecies classifications are not widely accepted by scientists. Traditionally, there are two competing views in paleoanthropology about the origin of H. sapiens, the recent African origin, since 2010, genetic research has led to the emergence of an intermediate position, characterised by mostly recent African origin plus limited admixture with archaic humans.
The recent African origin of humans is the mainstream model that describes the origin. The theory is called the Out-of-Africa model in the press, and academically the recent single-origin hypothesis, Replacement Hypothesis. The hypothesis that humans have a single origin was published in Charles Darwins Descent of Man, the concept was speculative until the 1980s, when it was corroborated by a study of present-day mitochondrial DNA, combined with evidence based on physical anthropology of archaic specimens. The recent single origin of humans in East Africa is the near-consensus position held within the scientific community. However, recent sequencing of the full Neanderthal genome suggests Neanderthals, the authors of the study suggest that their findings are consistent with Neanderthal admixture of up to 4% in some populations. But the study suggests that there may be other reasons why humans. That study however does not explain why only a fraction of humans have Neanderthal DNA. The multiregional origin model provides an explanation for the pattern of evolution proposed by Milford H.
Wolpoff in 1988. Scientific study of evolution is concerned, with the development of the genus Homo. Modern humans are defined as the Homo sapiens species, of which the extant subspecies is known as Homo sapiens sapiens. Homo sapiens idaltu, the known subspecies, is now extinct. Similarly, the specimens of the Homo rhodesiensis species have been classified by some as a subspecies
Kromdraai fossil site
It is situated within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and is itself a South African National Heritage Site. In 1938, the site was brought to the attention of Robert Broom by a schoolboy named Gert Terrblanche who had discovered several hominin teeth. The teeth formed part of a skull that would become the holotype of Paranthropus robustus, Broom began excavations at the site that would continue until approximately 1947 and would result in the discovery of numerous hominin remains. Two deposits were noted and named at the site — Kromdraai A, brain recommenced work at Kromdraai B and discovered numerous additional hominin remains as well as abundant non-hominin fauna. In the 1980s Elizabeth Vrba briefly conducted excavations at Kromdraai B in order to recover additional samples for her work on South African bovids, in 1993 excavations were re-opened by Francis Thackeray of the Transvaal Museum and Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand. They were joined by teams from Harvard University and other collaborators, important results of this work have been the recovery of additional hominin fossils as well as the obtaining of more accurate dates for the site.
Besides the holotype specimen of P. robustus, at the time of the writing of this article 29 hominin specimens had been recovered from Kromdraai B, many thousands of animal fossils have been recovered from both Kromdraai A and B. Kromdraai B is dated to between approximately 2.0 -1.6 Ma with the majority if not all the Paranthropus robustus fossils dating to between 1.8 and 1.6 Ma, hominids Paranthropus robustus Cradle of Humankind List of fossil sites
The Miocene is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about 23.03 to 5.333 million years ago. The Miocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell and its name comes from the Greek words μείων and καινός and means less recent because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene follows the Oligocene Epoch and is followed by the Pliocene Epoch, the earth went from the Oligocene through the Miocene and into the Pliocene, with the climate slowly cooling towards a series of ice ages. The Miocene boundaries are not marked by a single distinct global event, the apes arose and diversified during the Miocene, becoming widespread in the Old World. By the end of this epoch, the ancestors of humans had split away from the ancestors of the chimpanzees to follow their own evolutionary path, as in the Oligocene before it, grasslands continued to expand and forests to dwindle in extent. In the Miocene seas, kelp forests made their first appearance, the plants and animals of the Miocene were fairly modern.
The Miocene faunal stages from youngest to oldest are typically named according to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, Two subdivisions each form the lower, continents continued to drift toward their present positions. Mountain building took place in western North America, both continental and marine Miocene deposits are common worldwide with marine outcrops common near modern shorelines. Well studied continental exposures occur in the North American Great Plains, India continued to collide with Asia, creating dramatic new mountain ranges. The Tethys Seaway continued to shrink and disappeared as Africa collided with Eurasia in the Turkish–Arabian region between 19 and 12 Ma. The subsequent uplift of mountains in the western Mediterranean region and a fall in sea levels combined to cause a temporary drying up of the Mediterranean Sea near the end of the Miocene. The global trend was towards increasing aridity caused primarily by global cooling reducing the ability of the atmosphere to absorb moisture, climates remained moderately warm, although the slow global cooling that eventually led to the Pleistocene glaciations continued.
Although a long-term cooling trend was well underway, there is evidence of a period during the Miocene when the global climate rivalled that of the Oligocene. The Miocene warming began 21 million years ago and continued until 14 million years ago, by 8 million years ago, temperatures dropped sharply once again, and the Antarctic ice sheet was already approaching its present-day size and thickness. Greenland may have begun to have large glaciers as early as 7 to 8 million years ago, life during the Miocene Epoch was mostly supported by the two newly formed biomes, kelp forests and grasslands. This allows for more grazers, such as horses, ninety five percent of modern plants existed by the end of this epoch. The higher organic content and water retention of the deeper and richer grassland soils, with long term burial of carbon in sediments, produced a carbon and this, combined with higher surface albedo and lower evapotranspiration of grassland, contributed to a cooler, drier climate. The expansion of grasslands and radiations among terrestrial herbivores correlates to fluctuations in CO2
Australopithecus africanus is an extinct species of the australopithecines, the first of an early -form species to be classified as hominin. Recently it was dated as living between 3.3 and 2.1 million years ago, or in the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene times, it is debated as being a direct ancestor of modern humans. A. africanus was of slender, or gracile and has found only in southern Africa at four sites, Sterkfontein, Makapansgat. Dart assigned the specimen the name Australopithecus africanus, it was dubbed the Taung child. This was the first time the word ape was formally assigned to any hominin, Dart theorized the Taung child skull must represent an intermediate species between apes and humans. And the rejection was buttressed by the widespread belief then, especially in British academia and he dismissed Darts claim, suggesting instead that the Taung child skull belonged to a young ape, most likely an infant gorilla or chimpanzee. Keith immersed himself in defending the Piltdown man and his reputation suffered greatly after the hoax was exposed in 1953, phillip Tobias, in a lengthy essay published in Current Anthropology in 1992, detailed the history of the investigation of the hoax.
As part of the essay Tobias debated the inconsistencies in Keiths statements, Darts theory—that the skull known as the Taung child was a human ancestor—was supported by Robert Broom, a paleontologist with the Transvaal Museum of natural history in Pretoria. In 1936, the Sterkfontein caves yielded the first adult australopithecine, Broom classified an adult endocranial cast having a brain capacity of 485 cc as Plesianthropus transvaalensis. In April 1947, while blasting at Sterkfontein, he and John T. Robinson discovered a skull belonging to a female which he classified as Plesianthropus transvaalensis. Both fossils were classified as Australopithecus africanus. Mrs. Ples, whose capacity is only about 485 cubic centimetres, was one of the first fossils to reveal that upright walking had evolved well before any significant growth in brain size. And, in comparison to modern apes, Dart noted as with the Taung child the lack of facial projection and it has slightly human-like, advanced cranial features, but presents primitive features including ape-like curved fingers adapted to tree climbing.
Both P. robustus and A. africanus crania seem very alike despite the heavily built features of P. robustus. A. africanus had a pelvis that would enable more efficient bipedalism than that of A. afarensis, such a morphology would support an earlier time for making and using tools than previously had been thought likely. Evidence of human-like sexual dimorphism in the spine has recently been described in the primate A. africanus. Recent analysis of the Little Foot specimen dated it to about 3, the Makapansgat fossils have been dated to between 3.0 and 2.6 mya. Those at Sterkfontein currently are dated to between 2.6 and 2.0 mya with the Mrs Ples fossil dating to around 2.0 million years, and Gladysvale fossils were dated between about 2.4 and 2.0 mya
Control of fire by early humans
The control of fire by early humans was a turning point in the cultural aspect of human evolution. Fire provided a source of warmth, and a method for cooking food and these cultural advancements allowed for human geographic dispersal, cultural innovations, and changes to diet and behavior. Additionally, creating fire allowed the expansion of activity to proceed into the dark. Claims for the earliest definitive evidence of control of fire by a member of Homo range from 0.2 to 1.7 million years ago, evidence for the controlled use of fire by Homo erectus, beginning some 600,000 years ago, has wide scholarly support. Evidence of widespread control of fire by anatomically modern humans dates to approximately 125,000 years ago, most of the evidence of controlled use of fire during the Lower Paleolithic is uncertain and has limited scholarly support. The inconclusiveness of some of the lies behind the fact that there exist other plausible explanations, such as natural processes. Recent findings strongly support that the earliest known controlled use of fire took place in Wonderwerk Cave, over time, early humans figured out how to create fire.
Archaeological evidence, suggests that happened between 700,000 years ago and 120,000 years ago. Findings from the Wonderwerk Cave site, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, east African sites, such as Chesowanja near Lake Baringo, Koobi Fora, and Olorgesailie in Kenya, show some possible evidence that fire was controlled by early humans. In Chesowanja archaeologists found red clay clasts dated to be from 1.4 Mya and these clasts must have been heated to 400 °C to harden. However, deliberate use of fire in Chesowanja is still debatable because there are reasons to believe that the burning of clay might have happened by chance. In Koobi Fora, sites FxJjzoE and FxJj50 show evidence of control of fire by Homo erectus at 1.5 Mya with findings of reddened sediment that could come from heating at 200–400 °C. A hearth-like depression that could have used to burn bones was found at a site in Olorgesailie. However, it did not contain any charcoal and no signs of fire have been observed, some microscopic charcoal was found, but it could have resulted from a natural brush fire.
In Gadeb, fragments of welded tuff that appeared to have been burned were found in Locality 8E, in the Middle Awash River Valley, cone-shaped depressions of reddish clay were found that could have been formed by temperatures of 200 °C. These features are thought to be burned tree stumps such that the early hominids could have fire away from their habitation site, burned stones are found in Awash Valley, but volcanic welded tuff is found in the area which could explain the burned stones. In Xihoudu in Shanxi Province, the black, blue, in 1985, a parallel site in China, Yuanmou in the Yunnan Province, archaeologists found blackened mammal bones which date back to 1.7 Mya BP. A site at Bnot Yaakov Bridge, has claimed to show that H. erectus or H. ergaster controlled fires between 790,000 and 690,000 BP