When embarking on a road trip through South Africa there are several spots you should make sure to visit. We aim to give you a brief introduction, province by province, to some of the people and places you can enjoy at your leisure when exploring South Africa on a road trip.
The origin of mankind has long been a topic of great interest to people of all walks of life, and new discoveries often result in more questions without answers. One such discovery is a collection of ancient ruins in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa that were originally believed to have been the remains of kraals left by African tribes as they moved south in about the thirteenth century. However, research and discoveries over the past twenty years or so have revealed that these ancient stone structures are most likely more than 75,000 years old, with some researchers suggesting they could be as old as 200,000 years. Moreover, researchers have concluded that the ruins are not merely those of village-like settlements, but are the remains of astronomical observatories and ancient religious temples.
With the advantage of being able to view the site from the air, a pattern of roads and circular monolithic structures has become evident. Researchers and authors, Johan Heine and Michael Tellinger, believe that two rocks found within the ruins in Mpumalanga work as a calendar, with the taller rock casting its shadow on the nearby flat rock. Naming the structure Adam’s Calendar, they noted that the months are measured by the changing shadow which moves across the complete surface of the rock in a twelve month period. Refuting claims that the rocks at the site are of no particular significance, the two researchers noted that the bedrock in the area consist of black reef cordite, while the monoliths are dolomite, suggesting they were brought in from elsewhere. They also point out that the monoliths stand in exact positions geometrically and line up precisely with north, south, east and west.
In addition to the Adam’s Calendar rocks, there are reportedly up to 20,000 similar structures found throughout southern and eastern Africa that can be observed from the air. Some have been eroded, or partially covered by sand and vegetation, but are nevertheless seen as having been built by man. Exactly when they were built and who built them, as well as why they were abandoned, remain topics for debate. However, with southern Africa being a rich source of gold, it is deemed possible that the history of these ancient settlements is linked to gold. The Barberton gold mines located near the Adam’s Calendar site and consisting of the Agnes Gold Mine, Fairview Gold Mine, New Consort Gold Mine and Sheba Gold Mine, are among the world’s richest gold mines. It has even been suggested that the ancient settlements are the lost kingdom of Queen Sheba, with the gold mines being the source of King Solomon’s riches.
Some mysteries of mankind’s history will likely never be solved, and some debates will never be settled. However, South Africa has turned up some fascinating sites – the Sterkfontein Caves, the Cradle of Humankind and extensive fossil discoveries – that point to its human history being far older than most people would imagine.