Chapter 3  ·  Man & Ape

Transvaal, Free State & Northern Cape Fossil Sites


Enoch, an Old Testament prophet, saw a vision in which people and/or animals were gathering, sinking, being swallowed up and perishing in the waters of the flood. Have you ever wondered at the terrible fear that took place as animals, people etc. took to high ground? Boats sank, houses were swept away and people held onto their loved ones for the last time. We sometimes see similar things taking place on CNN. In Southern Africa we have a great dam about 2109 square miles in size, called Lake Kariba, which was completed in the early 1960’s. While the dam was filling the government authorities decided to save the wild animals living in the area. This operation was called Operation Noah and over 5000 large animals were rescued from the floodwaters. The drowning of animals and the way the animals reacted to the flooding, show us what probably happened during the Deluge.

Morgan's Bay in the Eastern Cape of South Africa,
showing rugged coastline

    Animals Die at Kariba

As the floodwaters rose on Kariba, islands began to form with the tops of the trees being submerged. The land flooded and large carpets of floating vegetation formed, while there was a rapid build up of aquatic organisms. The Salvinia fern eventually covered about 75 square miles of the lake. The fish had a field day and fishing was good on the lake. Insects and spiders were common on the retreating shoreline and in the drowning trees. Amphibians and monitor lizards lived well off the insects. Most reptiles suffered as their habitats were flooded. Snakes and lizards swam to drowning trees and islands where they often fell prey to birds. Tortoises were common, becoming marooned on the islands and many were to drown, although they seemed to swim/float well. They had buoyancy that allowed them to float and they could swim by paddling their legs. A tortoise was recorded eating salvinia, which is a plant that grows and floats on water. Terrestrial birds normally flew away, but some Francolin, Guineafowl and Waxbills were to drown after taking refuge in stranded trees.

Mammals could swim but many perished when they became stranded on the islands. Large mammal species reacted differently to the flooding. A few were intelligent enough to swim to the mainland but many perished in concentrations on the islands. The Game department saved many from the flooding. One island called island 17 with an area of 7.5 square miles had about 18 larger mammal species marooned, amounting to approximately 567 animals. This total doesn’t include those that died and those that had escaped off the island. The species trapped together included; Monkey, Baboon, Pangolin, Genet, Aardwolf, Hyena, Antbear, Rhino, Zebra, Bushpig, Warthog, Duiker, Grysbok, Impala, Bushbuck, Kudu, Hare and Porcupine.

    Not All on Ark

On another island called Ukubula a herd of about 200 buffalo were marooned. Many of these Buffalo were shot to put them out of their misery, captured or chased off the island. The competition for food amongst the large mammals on the islands was terrible and they lost condition. There was surprisingly little aggression between the crowded species and individuals. The larger mammals associated peacefully in mixed groups. Large predators had an impact on island 17, feeding off the stranded animals, but they normally swam away from the islands when they needed to. Kariba showed the behaviour patterns of the animals and how they would have responded to Noah’s flood.

Did every creature go on the Ark? Some of the mammal species now extinct from the Americas and possibly some of the large land dinosaurs may have been left out of the Ark. The latter point is open to debate, as there are historical and biblical records of large dinosaurs living after the flood. Some freshwater creatures, many amphibians, sea creatures, the crocodiles and turtles, whales, insects, small reptiles and possibly some sea birds survived out of the Ark. There would have been large masses of floating vegetation and driftwood on which many creatures could have survived. Insects, amphibians and reptiles would have been the most likely beneficiaries of the masses of floating vegetation. Reptiles can go a long time without eating. One reptile like creature, which was in Southern Africa called the Tuatara, is now found only on islands off New Zealand. This species may have ended up there after being washed on to the newly formed New Zealand from drifting plants, with no family members having survived in Africa. It is a socalled living fossil and its survival is as amazing to evolutionists as finding a living dinosaur. Many marine molluscs died in the catastrophe and many are now extinct. They can be found in fossil beds where the former coastlines once were. A good place to see this is in parts of Kwazulu-Natal.

Over 90% of all creatures that once lived are said to be extinct today, showing the devastation caused by that flood. A world wide catastrophe best explains the death of the dinosaurs and many other creatures. Even evolutionary scientists are now saying that something catastrophic must have caused the extinction of all those amazing creatures.

    How They Were Deposited

The animals and people who died in the flood, died like those at Kariba. They gathered on gradually diminishing islands to eventually perish together. In some cases, they died on their own or with family members. Do we have flood fossil sites in Southern Africa? Yes, we do and Southern Africa has some of the best fossil sites in the world. There are many large and small fossil sites of mixed assemblages of animals, which died together. The numbers and mixed content have confused palaeontologists who still do not understand how these fossils formed. Many are found in limestone formations in which the bones are badly damaged, as rocks and currents had battered them around before the floodwaters subsided. One theory as to how this happens is that calcium carbonate will develop around corpses due to anaerobic decomposition where there is a localised concentration of ammonia or amines. This would increase the pH, sufficient to precipitate the carbonate and would explain the formation of bone beds in limestone. Fossils normally need to form under special conditions. These include an oxygen free environment with enough sediment to prevent anything eating the remains. The flood produced the ideal conditions for this and very few fossils have formed since then.

    The Still Missing Link

Was Africa the Eden we now find in popular thinking, or was there an African eve? No this is all a big mistake. The Garden of Eden was in the Middle East as described in the Bible.

Over the years, many forged missing links have been created to strengthen the lie that man evolved from the apes. In other cases, fossil material is misinterpreted, with incomplete skeletons being used as evidence. A good example is the fossil from East Africa called Lucy, which was mistakenly used to give the impression that Australopithecus walked upright. The large evolutionary community persists in trying to find the Holy Grail of evolution i.e. the missing link. Southern Africa is important in this field as we have many ape and human fossils. The human fossils are often ignored while the ape fossils of Australopithecus/Paranthropus have been used to try to prove evolution.

The Australopithecus fossils (meant to have been the missing link) are now thought by some to be a ‘failed attempt’ at human evolution. There are many ‘die hards’ that continue to believe that this is the missing link, even though the evidence shows that these were not our ancestors. There is some difficulty in interpreting deformed, broken fossils and it is very tempting for someone to ‘make’ a fossil older, or create a missing link because of the prestige it brings. It is easy to make mistakes and at one time paleontologists thought a thighbone found in the Transvaal, was from an Australopithecus. This later turned out to be from a leopard. One of the mistakes made about the apes of Southern Africa is the assumption that they lived in caves. This would imply that they were different from existing apes and that they were more civilized. The limestone breccia deposits they are found in were formed in the flood and some have eroded to form caves. The fossils often have to be blasted out of the breccia and in some cases are at sites which have yet to be eroded into caves.

The millions of granite and other igneous rock caves in Southern Africa have never produced an Australopithecus. Many theories have been drummed up to try to understand why this is so. The only explanation that fits all these facts is the Flood and no fossils would have survived the igneous activity to be left behind in a granite cave. Unfortunately, the flood is not acceptable to many scientists and they would rather speculate and leave the mystery unsolved.

    Old or Recent

How can we tell whether human and other fossil remains are from a pre or post flood fossil site? Normally any proper human burial or feeding sites will be post flood. Fossil remains found in breccias (especially limestone) or at great depths in the ground, are most likely to be flood deposits. Fossilised or scattered animal remains are strong candidates for a flood deposit.


The Transvaal area especially north of Krugersdorp is full of limestone breccias and other water laid down rocks, often eroded into caves, some being small holes in the ground. Many deposits have yet to be exposed. Some of the well-known flood sites in the Transvaal and Free Sate include Kalkbank, Taung, Blaubank valley (Sterkfontein, Swartkrans and Kromdraai), Makapansgat valley, Vlakplaats, Gondolin, Cornelia, Florisbad and the deposits of the Vaal River.

    Old Skulls

The Rhodesian man fossil was found at Broken Hill near Kabwe in Zambia in 1921. This famous skull was found about 60 feet underground in a hill containing breccia, lead and zinc. The skull was found with the remains of two or possibly three other individuals. The upper jaw of one of the other individuals looks similar to modern humans. These humans do not have the same racial features as any of the groups of people who have recently moved into Southern Africa. Why does the Rhodesian man look different from the others found with him? He has a low cranial doming and a very heavy brow bridge. This is easily explained by the changing of peoples' skulls when they reach a great age, as mentioned in a previous chapter.

A strange hole was found in the Rhodesian man’s skull. This hole pierces right through the skull and looks like a bullet hole, adding some mystery to this site. The site had many mammals and other fossils including an elephant and what was called a brontosaurus. It was also found that there was no natural entry to the cave containing the fossils. For some reason this site was never properly studied and many specimens disappeared. The Rhodesian man skull is similar to many of the older skulls found in Southern Africa. Dolomite deposits south of Lusaka were blasted in 1959 for the building of Lake Kariba. At Shimabala, a mass burial was found while the mining was in progress and this contained pottery similar to that found at Broken Hill. The human remains were exposed from a depth of 3m to about 5.5m.

There were about 33 individuals recorded at the site, with shell beads, blue glass beads and copper bangles, copper bracelets and some fauna. The miners blew up the site so destroying the fossils before the archaeologists could study the site properly. The few bits and pieces retrieved were taken to the Congo for research and seem to have disappeared. Half a mile away from this site at a dolomite site, the Chipongwe skull was found. This skull was different from racial types now found in Southern Africa and had features in common with the Rhodesian Man. The Transvaal has produced fossilised skulls showing similar features to the famous Rhodesian man showing their antiquity.

All the fossil sites mentioned below are likely to have been the result of Noah’s flood. However skulls described as Boskop include some people that may have been post flood. The Boskop skull was an important skull found in the Transvaal near Potchefstroom in 1913. It was embedded at a depth of 4.5 feet, at the top of lateritic ironstone. The skull was completely fossilised. A stone implement was found in association with it. This stone tool is different from other tools found in Southern African caves of more recent times. The skull is said to be one of the largest found, with a length of 212mm and its greatest width reaching at least 153mm. The bone varied in thickness and the prominent brow was very narrow. This person had a large brain, with a brain case of 1900cc, or possibly larger. This is bigger than the skulls of most modern human beings.

R.Broom - probably one of the greatest palaeontologists to have lived - had this to say about the response by the scientific community to this find: “Prejudice has played a considerable part in anthropology. Since the belief in evolution became accepted, all old human skulls are expected to be ape-like and if not ape-like are regarded with suspicion. Doubts have been thrown on the Galley Hill skull because it is not sufficiently anthropoid. When in 1855 a human jaw was found in the Red Crag it was submitted to Owen, Huxley, Lyell and all the leaders of the day. As it was not like an ape’s jaw they all shook their heads and said it was an interesting curiosity and as no one recognised its value the jaw got lost. The Boskop skull has been threatened with a similar fate. It has an enormous brain and is not at all ape like and therefore according to some, it cannot be old and in any case cannot be interesting.” Broom scorns the unfortunate attitude taken by many palaeontologists that has prevented proper palaeontological work from being done.

    Springbok Flats

The Springbok Flats skull was found in 1929, about 80 miles North of Pretoria in the Transvaal. It was retrieved while gravel excavations were taking place at a depth of about 4 feet below the surface, in a surfacelimestone deposit. It was not a burial and was found with the remains of a large buffalo, which is larger than the buffaloes that live today. The skull and skeleton belonged to a large and powerful man. The bones were badly broken. Most of the skull was broken into small coin size pieces, but the jawbone was well preserved. Fitting the bones together posed problems. Some pieces were missing and so impregnated by lime that it was difficult to get them to fit. The skull was found to look like a modern man with a large brain. The skulls maximum length was about 195mm and the breadth about 144mm. It had a well-developed brow.

The jawbone was unusually long and very massive. Its size was said to be larger than that of any known living human. The limb bones were large and powerful. The arm bone was estimated to be 330mm long. The missing ends make it difficult to be sure of its true length. The arm bones were those of a powerfully built man. The thighbone is similar to that of the Rhodesian man, being long and massive. The bones show a tall robust individual and estimates put the height of this person over 6 feet. In summary the Springbok flats man was thought to be tall and strong with a big brain, a long and wide head, a drawn out face, big jawbone and small teeth. This person cannot be fitted in with any racial type living in Southern Africa today and shows his antiquity. In 1957 and only about 16km from the Springbok Flats skull, a rhino was exposed by a storm in calcareous soil. About 250m from this rhino some earth removing equipment revealed a man who had died with his hands and arms outstretched, the base of his skull missing and the ribs on his left side crushed.

    Kopje Enkel

There was a report in 1935 of a fossilised human jawbone having been found at Kopje Enkel, on the Western border of the Transvaal. The bones were found 4 feet deep in a limestone formation. Some other skeletal remains found by the road working party disappeared. The large shape of the jawbone shows it does not belong to the modern humans living here today and had similarities to the Springbok Flats man.

    Swartkrans and Nearby Sites

The Swartkrans site produced in the region of 59488 bones of many different large and small animals. Human remains have been found at Swartkrans. This includes skeletal fragments, thumbs, some skull and a human tooth. Australopithecus/Paranthropus (discussed below) remains are also found at this site. Studying the teeth it appeared the humans were omnivorous, while the ape was an herbivore feeding on nuts, seeds and other vegetable matter. The Sterkfontein site found just over a kilometre to the East of Swartkrans yielded an Australopithecus and bits of a human skull. Kromdraai is just over a kilometre to the east of Sterkfontein and has yielded about 5000 fossil specimens. Found in the deposits were small rodents, barn owls, quails, button quails, crakes, sandpipers, ruffs, lovebirds, starlings, pipits, waxbills, grass warblers, sparrows, red bishops, weavers, swallows, various large mammals, crocodile, girdled lizard and tortoise.

The fossils were damaged like those at other sites with crushing, distortion, scratches, disintegration, dissociation etc. this being expected from the powerful currents and pressure of the Flood Sea. Crocodiles, hippo, reptiles, birds, rodents and mammals found together show the unusual nature of their deaths. Bones had been weakened from standing in water for a long time, with many deformed. At Kromdraai about 70% of the recovered remains had been crushed in some way and this was not from carnivore action, as the separated pieces were found together. Many fossils are amazingly complete at this site, including the small animals. This is in contrast to the left over carcasses of the existing large carnivores and consequently large carnivore activity is ruled out here. Colobus monkeys, which are found here and at other Transvaal sites, are arboreal specialist leaf eaters, who rarely descend to the ground.

The presence of a chimp like creature called Australopithecus/Paranthropus and the colobus before the flood in this region showed the habitat was very different from what it is today. Both species have similar habitats in the forests of Central and East Africa. The maintenance of a population of hippo in the Kromdraai area today, with the present rainfall is not possible. Parrots generally come from areas with large trees. A juvenile parrot was found which shows a breeding population. This parrot and other fossils of juvenile birds etc. show there was a summer deluge. April/May is the time of year that the Jewish books say the flood started, so this ties in with the summer deaths of many of our fossils. Parrots still breed in South Africa during these months.


Gondolin is a fossil site near Broederstroom in the Transvaal. This is a breccia; travertine site yielded 90,000 odd bones. About 27 species were found, with reedbuck and klipspringer being abundant. A human tooth was found in this assemblage.


The Vlakplaats limestone breccia near Pretoria contained fossils, which included hares, bats, rodents, shrews, small birds, land snails and larger mammalian bones. The bones that were found were covered with sinews at the time of fracturing and deposition. This is evidence the animals drowned and that predators did not kill them.

    Cave of Hearths

In 1947 some blasted breccia from the cave of Hearths, Makapansgat in the Transvaal produced a human jawbone. The remains were embedded in lime-consolidated red earth. The fossil jawbone appeared to belong to an adolescent of 12 years and from a well-built race of people. An arm fragment has been found at this site.

    Stone Tools

Some stone artefacts found in Southern Africa may have been from before the flood. A polished stone pendant was found in the Makapansgat Valley, which may be from these early people. Some spearheads made of a mixture of soapstone and quartzite with polished stone rings, were found at a depth of 12 feet near Regina in the Western Transvaal. The depth of these tools makes it likely that they were from before the flood. Stone bowls have been found in Botswana and Namibia, some at a depth of 6 feet in red alluvial sands. Stone bowls were quite common in ancient times. There could be sites in Southern Africa where the remains of a town or habitation remain undiscovered under sediment. If they had built their houses with clay the chances of finding something seems unlikely. These ancient people may have done some of the strange rock engraving sites now found in Southern Africa.

    Free State

The Free State area has some interesting fossil sites, which include Florisbad, Cornelia and the Vaal River gravels. The Vaal River gravels have produced over 1000 plus fossils from its sediments. Most of these fossils were found by diamond diggers and are yet to be fully studied. The Canteen Kop skull was found near Kimberly in a deposit on the Vaal River near Barkly West. The skull was found in a deep alluvial bank. The fragmentary nature of the remains means it is unlikely to have been a burial. No jaws or teeth were found. A few fragments of the limb bones were acquired. The bones were mineralised.

The large skull had a length of 205mm and a breadth of 140mm. This like other ancient skulls differs from the Bushman and other peoples of recent times. In 1932, a human skull was found at Florisbad. This was found with a possible throwing stick and the fragmentary remains of large and small animals. It appears these were all victims of the flood and were roughly handled by the floodwaters. This large brained person looks similar to modern man but was larger and similar to the Saldanha man found in the Cape. The fossils were found in an accumulation of coal, sands, clay and dolerite rubble. The presence of coal shows that these fossils formed at the same time as the coalfields were deposited, which would have been at the time of the Flood. Students of fossil man ignored the Florisbad skull for about 30 years. This may be due to it having had a mix of Neanderthal and modern features, which could not be explained by the evolutionary theories of ancient man.

    Taung and Chimps

The Buxton lime works at Taung include at least 17 sites that contain fossils. The black earth cave contained human teeth. The Tobias cave produced fauna with the remains of part of a human skull. There are remains of lizards, crabs and a tortoise. Also found in red sandy limestone were baboon, small antelope, shrews, rodents, small carnivores, bats and hyrax. There were some fragments found here thought to be a missing link, which were later found to be from a baboon. This site had baboons showing minor structural changes from those living today. These were similar to other fossil contemporaries of the other Transvaal skulls. The animals found were similar to those found with the Rhodesian man skull from Broken Hill in Zambia, Saldanha man and Florisbad man.

In 1924, Professor Raymond Dart acquired an incomplete skull that had been blasted out of the Taung lime works. After cleaning and studying it he announced to the world that he had discovered mans’ missing link. It was named Australopithecus africanus, which means Southern Ape. At first, his claim was regarded as a joke. Later on, however with the Piltdown man being found to be a hoax, it became accepted by the world that this was the missing link. Over the years this fossil and other Australopithecus specimens have gone through phases of being the missing link and then not being it.

In 1977, Richard Leakey removed Australopithecus from the ape-man chart and it ceased to be a human ancestor. The Taung skull was depicted once at Wembley with an evolutionary bias. The skull was made up with the ears of a chimpanzee and a smooth, rounded forehead. The hair of the scalp was sleek and parted. The bushy eyebrows were those of a man of the age of 55 or 60. The neck was fat and thick. The nose was modelled along gorilla lines, whereas the nasal part of the skull imitated that of a chimpanzee. The mouth was wide with a smile at each corner. So with this and many other fossils done up in museums we find artistic fantasy.

Often racism is shown by depicting these artistic pieces to be black implying that black people are lower down on the evolutionary ladder. Professor Dart claimed the brain of this specimen showed certain human like traits. The parallel fissure has to be correctly identified for this to be proven and Professor Dart guessed the position of the parallel fissure in the skull. By doing this, he made it seem more human. Some experts such as a well-known scientist named Zuckerman examined the skull and found it to be like the present day African apes.

Without giving too much technical detail, the skull was found to be from a young anthropoid ape in its fourth year of growth. It had similarities in the skull and teeth with gorillas and chimpanzees. The upper permanent canines show these were of an ape type. The shape of the deformed face, broken nasals and brain case showed similarities with a gorilla. The Taung skull was presumed to be millions of years old. It supposedly would take millions of years for these apes to have evolved into a human. Using evolutionary dating techniques, which give readings to support evolutionary ideas, the deposits in which the Taung skull was found, were formed less than 870 thousand years ago. Here the evolutionists using their own techniques prove that even if evolution had been true, there was not enough time for this creature to turn into a human.

All of a sudden the prime missing link of the world was looking shaky and the excuse was; ‘One point that needs investigation at the outset, however, is the question of the identification of the Taung skull as Australopithecus africanus. The possibility that the Taung skull might represent Homo habilis or a more advanced creature than A. africanus … certainly deserves some consideration in view of this younger date’. Phillip Tobias, who had worked at the University of Witwatersrand, announced that this skull had not been fully analysed and described after 50 years. Amazing! And for all those years the world has been deceived into believing that there was a missing link, with this being one of the prime specimens and many still believe there is a missing link.

    Other Chimplike Apes

Since the Taung skull Australopithecus/Paranthropus skulls and bones have been found in South and Eastern Africa. The Transvaal sites have produced many of these fossils. The more complete skulls and bones recently discovered have confirmed what Christians have been saying all along. They are nothing more than apes. Because of their incomplete nature, the Lucy and Taung skulls were mistakenly interpreted. As more fossils have been found, we now have a better picture of what these apes were like. Australopithecus have wear patterns on their teeth like the chimpanzee, which are very different from those of humans and the teeth are unlike human teeth. They had epiphyses on their finger bones showing an adaptation to knuckle walking – which is an indication that they did not walk upright like man. This is further supported by the pelvis, which shows that it was more likely that they walked like chimpanzees. They seemed to reach a size smaller than a Gorilla, but bigger than a chimpanzee.

Pre flood chimps may have been bigger due to better environmental conditions, so falling into this size bracket. Dr.Broom a famous paleontologist in Southern Africa, maintained that one of the most important features proving the affinity of the Australopithecus and man was the fact that the lateral incisors of the upper jaw and the canines meet, a feature which he thought didn’t occur in apes. This may be true in normal chimps and gorillas. This is not true in the pygmy chimp called the Bonobo where the teeth have become very small indeed. This animal presents a case homologous with Australopithecus. The small size, the dome shaped forehead, the shortness of the face that is responsible for the crowding together of the teeth, are the same in both. It is therefore probable that Australopithecus was a chimp. There are 5 types of chimpanzees in Africa showing a great deal of genetic variation. This means that a pre flood chimp could easily have looked like Australopithecus/Paranthropus.

The Drimolen site in the Krugersdorp area of South Africa has recently produced 79 new fossil hominids. This site has conclusively shown that man and Australopithecus lived side by side, as different creatures and has confirmed what Christians have said for many years.

    Just a Chimp

The Australopithecus could not be our ancestor. Just as chimps and gorillas live with humans today, so man lived with apes (Australopithecus etc.) before the flood. The fossils do tell us that there was a race of people who looked different to us and were wiped out by the flood. The fossils show these people lived all over Southern Africa, with a possibility of large populations along the coastlines and in the Transvaal. They also died in desperate attempts to reach higher ground, surrounded by their animal contemporaries. If Australopithecus was our ancestor then how come humans were already evolved and living side by side with them? Australopithecus was simply an ape, which happened to be living in Southern and East Africa before the flood.

    What Was It Like?

Trying to work out the environment before the flood in an area is difficult and requires a lot of detective work. We can study endemic trees, current flow, pollens, plant families, plant fossils and animal fossils to get an idea of which plants existed. Once we know what sort of animals and plants lived, we can guess the climate and environment that existed. The Vereeniging area has produced fossil plants with fern like characters. There are similarities between these plants and those found at the Hwange coalfields. A fossilised forest was once found in the bed of the Vaal River near the Vereeniging coalfield. The Harrismith area produced a 29.3m long tree that was put on display at the Harrismith town hall. Using this information and other data available, it seems the Transvaal was a well-watered area with grasslands, broadleaf forests, rivers, savannah, woodland and hilly areas. The northern areas probably had thicker vegetation than the Southern Free State area, while it became more open with grassland areas as one went into the Northern Cape.