NEW!! Post-Congress Tour

The Post-Congress Tour to Florisbad Quaternary Research Station and thermal spring will be held on Friday 25 July 2014 from 08h00 until 13h30, and will run parallel to the Fire Management Course.

NEW!! Post-Congress Tour

The Post-Congress Tour to Florisbad Quaternary Research Station and thermal spring will be held on Friday 25 July 2014 from 08h00 until 13h30, and will run parallel to the Fire Management Course.

Florisbad Quaternary Research Station and thermal spring

Florisbad is a satellite of the National Museum and is located 45 km northwest of Bloemfontein. It is a fossil-bearing spring mound where mammalian fossils dated to between 400 000 and 100 000 years ago (Middle Pleistocene), as well as archaeological remains from old land surfaces, were discovered. Florisbad is known for its pre-modern human skull dated to about 260 000 years old. There are various buildings, as well as the warm mineral baths (indoor and outdoor) fed from the thermal spring, that were built between c. 1920 and 1950 when it was a privately owned holiday resort and mineral spa. The tour will be conducted by researchers and experts from the Florisbad Quaternary Research Department. You will learn about the dating processes of fossil remains and sediments, how ancient grazers interacted with the early environment, how stone tools changed over time, how fossil hyrax (dassie) dung are used to determine the plants that were present in the ancient environment, and so much more. On this tour, you will see among others: the ancient pans that indicate a time when the Free State had large lakes; the buildings and warm baths; an excavation pit indicating the different layers in the soil profile; the excavation site where the skull, remains of human activity and an intact ancient land surface was uncovered; Middle Stone Age stone tools from early hominids (hand axes, blades and points); as well as a collection of bones from the early mammals in comparison with the mammals of today (3 osteological collections housed in the research station). If time permits, a quick stop at the well-known salt pan of Soutpan just a few kilometres further can also be arranged. Packed mid-morning refreshments and transport from and returning to Philip Sanders will be provided.

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