A twig on the tree of life.

Over three billion years ago, life started as a seed that grew and evolved, becoming a great tree with many branches.

The tree of life has seen the creation and destruction of entire branches of related species. We are just one twig that sprouted only seven million years ago. We are the only leaf remaining on our twig, and we are dependent on the same tree we share with millions of other leaves.

As humankind, we are all part of the same leaf.
The differences we have seen in each other over centuries are skin deep. Our bodies are structured the same way, with the same organs and bones, and our genetic codes are 99.9% the same. Yet we often believe that we are different enough to discriminate against each other.
Our leaf will not be around forever.
A leaf falls at the end of its season – this is the circle of life. But humankind’s unjust belief that we have dominion over nature is leading us to destroy whole branches of life for the temporary prosperity of our single leaf. This behaviour threatens the survival of the entire tree, without which we cannot survive.
So we need to learn about our origins.
By understanding our shared roots in Africa, and by learning about our more ancient connections to other branches on the tree of life, we can find unity among ourselves, and resolve to conserve nature.

Which is why we keep digging into the past.

It takes a community to unearth our origins, with these hands coming together to articulate palaeontology’s important messages.

Rick Menell
Chairman
Andrea Leenen
CEO
Robert Blumenschine
Chief Scientist
Busie Mpofu
Programmes Co-ordinator
Dr. Berhane Asfaw
Trustee
Dr. Bernie Fanaroff
Trustee
Prof John Cruise
Trustee
Mandie van der Spuy
Trustee
Michael Nayler
Trustee
Philip Baum
Trustee
Robin Petersen Gibbs
Trustee
Dr. Selepe Homer Motuba
Trustee
Simpiwe Tshabalala
Trustee
Zwelibanzi Mntambo
Trustee
Dr. Yonah Seleti
Trustee
Jay Naidoo
Patron
Minister Naledi Pandor
Patron
Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak el Nahayan
Patron
Tom Barry
International Advisor
Mark Florman
International Advisor
William “Bill” Frankel
International Advisor
Prof Marion Bamford
Scientific Advisory Committee
Dr. Margaret Avery
Scientific Advisory Committee
Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie
Scientific Advisory Committee

And share our findings with the world.

Through our campaigns.

All from One exhibition

And programmes.

Witness the inspirational story of our shared origins. Walking Tall is a physical theatre production that confronts misconceptions about race, conservation and science.
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We invest in the future leaders. Apply for financial support for postgraduate degrees and fellowships at established, African origin sciences field schools and universities.
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Improve your skill as a technician by honing your surveying, excavating, casting and curating skills in the field and laboratory with PAST’s funds for technical training.
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Keep learning and growing as an African origin science leader even after you complete your postgraduate studies with PAST’s technical and financial support.
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Get funding for cutting edge research - in museums, laboratories or in the field – conducted by senior scientists affiliated with African institutions.
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Get funding for Africa-based scientific journal publication costs and for conferences of African origin sciences associations.
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Be a part of the exploration.

PAST is a certified Non-Profit Organisation.