DITSONG: National Museum of Natural History, in partnership with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris (CNRS), the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Research Foundation, are building the Bolt’s Farm Exhibition, which includes 3D renderings, child-centred activities, and tells the story of evolution in South Africa. The exhibition opens on 26 March 2020.
The story of evolution is fascinating. The fossil world of Bolt’s Farm, located in the Cradle of Humankind, has unearthed Dinofelis fossil skull, aged around -2.5 million years. Scientists found this extinct sabre-toothed cat skull between 1947 and 48 and thanks to 3D technology, the public can now discover what the animal looked like and what the skull tells us about its life.
The exhibition shows the various phases of investigating animal and hominid fossils to understand the prehistorical environments, landscapes and the story of evolution in South Africa. The exhibition includes child-centred activities – they can touch different types of rocks found in the caves, the replica of Mrs Ples’ skull, animal bones and tools. They can also experience the techniques of excavation in a mini-excavation site with hidden bones and stones. Simple pedagogical content allows children and scholars to learn a lot from this exhibition.
There are famous fossil sites where excavations continue to bring the most amazing discoveries to the surface to help us piece together our prehistoric past. Bolt’s Farm, while less publicly known, is an incredibly exciting location where a wealth of animal fossils, particularly those of big cats, has been unearthed. These are thought to be between about 2.9 million and 4.5 million years old.
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