Educational Fossil Cast Replicas


The aim of the casting project was to train community members in casting, educate them on heritage and to create sustainable livelihoods. Through this initiative Marapo, Stones and Bones retail outlet and laboratory was created and it officially opened its doors to the public on the 26th of July 2013. The retail outlet is situated at the Sterkfontein caves (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the laboratory where all the casts are made is next to the retail outlet. This affords visitors to the Cradle the ability to not only see the casts being manufactured but also to purchase them. Two teams consisting of 7 days a week. Improved casting methods were developed by the Malapa project at the Evolutionary Studies Institute, at the University of the Witwatersrand. This project was able to demonstrate the viability of the production of low cost, high quality casts of heritage objects. Wits University in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government established a casting programme in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, at Sterkfontein caves. People from the local community were selected to undergo an intense training program in casting, molding, and painting. Historically fossil replicas were only viewed behind glass in museums or learning institutes, now for the first time members of the public can purchase fossil replicas from the Cradle of Humankind.


PLEASE NOTE: The stock value shown on system is merely a reflection of the current stock on hand (SOH) levels at Toprock. All products from Marapo can be ordered in ANY quantity. Orders exceeding current SOH levels will merely be placed on BACK ORDER and the lead time for production is roughly 14 working days. 


What & Why?

Toprock has partnered with a social development project situated in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. The Marapo casting project was setup by Prof Lee R. Berger in order to produce employment opportunities with in the UNESCO world heritage site. The material is NOT research grade casts but rather educational or commercial grade casts.

Toprock is a fantastic platform to provide both exposure for the sheer wonders which occur within the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. I (Alex) have personally investigated taphonomic lines of interest at both Malapa Cave and Copper's D with in the region. I (Alex) will endevour to provide more detailed descriptions and information relating to the casts, but this is going to take me time to compile. Google is a wonderful resource I will however try give you more information as time goes on, and when i find the opportunity to do so. None the less this is our way of us sharing our love for fossils and our love for palaeoanthropology, and our love for scientific knowledge!