Palaeontological Scientific Trust

Celebrating our shared African Roots and Common Humanity

Welcome to PAST

The science of our origins reveals the shared African roots of all people. PAST uses Africa's ancient fossil heritage to build African dignity, promote social cohesion and environmental conservation, inspire scientific curiosity among school-going youth, and establish African leadership in the sciences related to our origins.

Why Origins matter

PAST, The Palaeontological Scientific Trust, is a Johannesburg-based public benefit organization that since 1994 has been dedicated to the mission of protecting, preserving and promoting Africa’s ancient cultural and natural heritage for the benefit of Africans and humankind in its entirety. PAST does so by bringing together scientists, business, government and communities to support research, education and public awareness in the sciences related to our origins (palaeontology, prehistoric archaeology, palaeo-anthropology and allied disciplines). Our vision is to inspire scientific curiosity and an appreciation for ancient heritage among Africa’s youth, and to develop global scientific leadership by African origin scientists. Far from supporting a purely academic pursuit, PAST uses the science of our origins to promote three major themes of great relevance to modern social issues and future prospects in Africa, and, indeed, across the world:

PAST Partners

Current News

  • At the Johannesburg Zoo, John Gurche watches a troop of chimpanzees, searching for the ghosts of our ancestors.

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  • J. BROOKS SPECTOR spent time with paleo-artist John Gurche for a conversation that ranged from depictions of evolution in popular film to the tricks of imbuing a clay and fur model of an ancient hominin with a sense that there was life inside that artist’s creation.

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  • The 10th Standard Bank/PAST keynote lecture and third Philip Tobias memorial lecture presented by John Gurche will be held in the Wits Great Hall on 16 October 2014.

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  • PAST would like to remind all grant applicantsthat our 4th quarter application deadline is 01 November 2014.

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  • Walking Tall completed workshops for more than for more than 17 000 learners and educators from 35+ schools.  We also had a special performances for government officials and other distinguished guests of the National Museums.

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  • PAST Trustee’s embarked on a 5 day trip to East Africa where they were treated to a Walking Tall performance and a talk by Professor Blumenschine at Olduvai Gorge.

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