Wednesday, January 17, 2007


My data collection here is finished. Yes, that's right, finished. I finished WAAAAY early. Thus, I have turned my attention to seeing what there is to see in Pretoria.

Turns out, there's not a whole hell of a lot to see.

Today, I slept in, and did some laundry and grocery shopping. Those domestic tasks out of the way, I decided to see what was upstairs in the Transvaal Museum. I've been sitting downstairs for five days now, checking my email and collecting data. I figured it was time to see the upstairs.

The museum actually has a very nice bird exhibit - nicer than the one in New York Cit-ay. They have a fossil of a nine-foot tall subfossil Malagasy bird. It would have been heavier than a gorilla. Its pelvis reached about my neck. Fossils are cool!

In addition, there was an extraordinary exhibit on the evolution of humans, with displays formulated in the sixties and seventies. Some of them were too precious not to photograph - and I present those to you here:

The death of SK 54. It's a fossil skull cap with two sabre-tooth cat bit marks in it. Here, they have taken a leopard and stuck big fangs on it for this beautiful recreation.

A. africanus greets the dawn by stretching an yawning in his fully bipedal posture.

And finally, my favorite! The "proto-humans" (A. africanus, who are CLEARLY directly in the line to modern humans ::snort::) sit wearing clothes, basking in the warmth of a roaring fire, while the EVIL P. robustus (extinct side-branch of the human lineage) come racing over the hillside in all of their savagery to SMITE the proto-humans.

After that, I finalized my plans for today and went to Church Square, which is sort of Pretoria City Center. It has a lot of the old, colonial building still intact. Kind of cool.

Church Square 2

Church Square 3

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