Journey to South Africa to explore what National Geographic described as “one of the greatest fossil discoveries of the past half century.” Come get face-to-face with our ancient ancestors and uncover traits we share and those that make us different. Along the way, you’ll uncover the remarkable tales of the dedicated scientists making these groundbreaking discoveries and the questions that continue to inspire them. Their stories – and those of these ancient fossils – will inspire your inner explorer to dig deep into our common past and reflect on what it means to be human.
Age: 1.97 million years old
Genus/Species: Australopithecus sediba
Hometown: ~30 miles northwest of Joburg
Lifestyle: walking upright, climbing trees, and hanging and swinging from branches
Diet: softer foods like grasses, gritty tree bark, and fruit
Age: 335,000-236,000 years old
Genus/Species: Homo naledi
Hometown: ~35 miles northwest of Joburg
Lifestyle: walking upright, climbing trees, possibly working with or creating hand tools, and long walks
Diet: large amounts of small, hard objects, and possibly raw tubers (potatoes)
The Perot Museum is proud to host the exclusive world premiere of Origins: Fossils from the Cradle of Humankind. With this being the first – and likely only – time these two specimens will ever leave South Africa, the exhibition is making worldwide headlines.
Truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore our shared human history.
One venue. One time.
The exhibition also will showcase the collaboration and dedication demonstrated by a diverse, multinational scientific team of women and men, led by Professor Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand. The team’s historic breakthroughs depict an inspiring tale of innovation, courage, and collaboration in the search for a deeper understanding of humankind’s shared ancestry. Their experiences also serve as an opportunity to encourage a spirit of curiosity and exploration to spark career inspiration in the next generation.
Tools of the trade have come a long way. While brushes, trowels, and chisels will always be part of their toolkit, archaeologists today have access to emerging technologies that have proven to be gamechangers in the realm of studying our ancient past.
There’s no bone too small to make a big impact. Scientists study different parts of ancient remains to help tell the different stories of our evolutionary journey.