Seek With New Eyes – Session #4: Archaeology

Our CrackerJack Speakers

Session #4 – ARCHAEOLOGY


Explore ‘big history’ – major events on the road of our cultural evolution to becoming human.
Trace why South Africa can lay claim to being the cradle of life.
Track where human origins began via revealing evidence and ancestral milestones in
The Cradle of Humankind.

Connect the concepts of fossil and First People – the San, one of the last hunter-gatherer societies on Earth.

Hear from distinguished scientists and a multi-skilled specialist about our complex, incomplete and
highly contentious history, that enlightens us as to who we are, and how we ended up here, now.

Refresh your perspective. Stimulate your mind.


John’s an earth scientist with a passion for writing about Earth and providing his readers and former students with a deeper, more inclusive, interconnected sense of our planet.

His most recent book is Human Origins: How diet, climate and landscape shaped us, which provides a narrative of where, when and how our species may have evolved.

It covers our deep (or ‘big’) history from the big bang to the present with projections into the future and includes new perspectives based on the latest evidence from southern Africa.

Ours is a complex, incomplete and highly contentious history, but one that can enlighten us as to who we are and where we might be headed, if we heed the markers. 


Howard began his career path as a mining engineer with Anglo American Corporation, becoming a specialist guide at Gold Mine Museum Crown Mines, telling the history of Johannesburg that’s rooted in the mineral wealth of South Africa.

Subsequent involvement with The Wilderness Leadership School, starting as a trainee field guide and ending as the provincial chair, served as a solid basis for his break-away move into wildlife tourism.

He co-founded  Conservation Corporation where he and his partners initiated the first public/private partnership with the SA National Parks Board for an operating lease in the Kruger National Park, where they developed luxury safari lodges.
The brand morphed into &Beyond, becoming the largest luxury safari operator in Africa.



John’s distinguished research is directed at understanding patterns of cultural variation and evolution of hunter gatherer settlement in the Fynbos Biome of the Western Cape.

It involves mapping, sampling and excavation of sites across the landscape to reconstruct life histories and social relations, settlement choices, image making and resource use through the later Pleistocene and Holocene.

He’s a man of many causes, such as the Living Landscape Project in Clanwilliam
As to another cause, in an address to the opening of South Africa’s Parliament, former president Mbeki mentioned the  letter he’d received from Parkington, regarding the protection of archaeological heritage sites!

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