THE ‘NEW’ OLD BABY
The Barberton Makhonjwa mountain range is one of the world’s oldest geological features. It contains some of the finest examples of preserved volcanic and sedimentary rock dating back to when Earth’s continents were starting to form more than three billion years ago.
The mountains also have meteor-impact fallback breccias – a type of rock made of fragments of minerals and rocks left behind by meteor strikes in our solar system about four billion years ago.
The area has provided “an unparalleled source of scientific information on the formation of the early Earth”, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa said after the Unesco announcement.
Also referred to as the “Genesis of Life”, the range is believed to contain remnants of the oldest life forms.
The caves here contain San rock art, as well as Stone Age tools.