Malawi could be the cradle of humankind

Mabvuto Banda

KARONGA, Malawi (Reuters) - The latest discovery of pre-historic tools and remains of hominids in Malawi’s remote northern district of Karonga provides further proof that the area could be the cradle of humankind, a leading German researcher said.

Professor Friedemann Schrenk of the Goethe University in Frankfurt told Reuters that two students working on the excavation site last month had discovered prehistoric tools and a tooth of an hominid.

“This latest discovery of prehistoric tools and remains of hominids provides additional proof to the theory that the Great Rift Valley of Africa and perhaps the excavation site near Karonga can be considered the cradle of humankind,” Schrenk said.

A hominid is a member of a family of primates which includes humans and their prehistoric ancestors.

The discovery was at Malema excavation site, 10 km (6 miles) from Karonga.

The site also contains some of the earliest dinosaurs which lived between 100 million and 140 million years ago and early hominids believed to have lived between a million and 6 million years ago.

He is leading a team of researchers from Europe and Africa to establish an African center for interdisciplinary studies on mammal and hominid evolution in the southern African nation.

Karonga is about 615 km (380 miles) north of the capital Lilongwe and is near the border with Tanzania.

Editing by Gugulakhe Lourie