The first humans, 2 000 000 years ago
Kromdraai, South Africa
The Kromdraai Project investigates the earliest known fossiliferous infilling of a previously unexplored area of the Kromdraai underground cave system. Since 2014, this new locality of the Kromdraai site provided as yet thousands of identifiable macrovertebrate fossils, including dental, cranial and postcranial remains of hominins, all tied in the earliest part of the stratigraphic sequence, representing three distinct depositional periods. Our ongoing taxonomic, phylogenetic and taphonomic interpretations of these newly discovered samples, will help to determine whether Kromdraai hominins correspond to temporal and evolutionary events also represented in eastern Africa between 2.5 and 2.0 millions of years, or if they represent unique Plio-Pleistocene snapshots of hominin evolution in southern Africa with a transition from a local Australopithecus species to Paranthropus and Homo.