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Motsetse Fossil Site, Cradle of Humankind
Location in Gauteng
Location Gauteng, South Africa
Nearest city Krugersdorp, South Africa

25°54′30″S 27°49′57″E / 25.90833°S 27.83250°E / -25.90833; 27.83250Coordinates: 25°54′30″S 27°49′57″E / 25.90833°S 27.83250°E / -25.90833; 27.83250

Area less than 100 m
Established Incorporated into the Cradle of Humankind1999
Governing body Cradle of Humankind and Private Landowner

Motsetsi Cave (also known as Motsetse) is a fossil-bearing breccia filled cavity located about 14 km East of the well known South African hominid-bearing sites of Sterkfontein and Kromdraai and about 45 km North-Northwest of the City of Johannesburg, South Africa. Motsetsi has been declared a South African National Heritage Site.[1]

History of Investigations

Motsetsi has been investigated since its discovery by Lee Berger in 1999.[2] Since then a series of part-time excavations have recovered tens of thousands of fossils. Excavations have been conducted at Motsetse by the University of the Witwatersrand and at times in conjunction with Peter Schmid of the University of Zurich. Only a very small part of this site has been excavated.[2]

Recovered Fossils

Of the many thousands of fossils recovered from Motsetsi, no hominid fossils have yet been found. Many very fine fossils of other animals, however, have been discovered including the remains of very well preserved Dinofelis fossils – a type of false saber-toothed cat.[3]


Motsetse is a series of breccia-filled dolomitic caves that formed in a fissure along a geological fault.

Age of the deposits

Motsetsi has been dated to 1.o to 1.6 million years old based on the animals recovered.[3]

Other Related Links


List of fossil sites

Lee Berger

Cradle of Humankind

Paranthropus robustus


External links

  • Motsetse Web page
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