Building in Africa

Associated with the gold-mines of Rhodesia are the agricultural terraces of Inyanga nearby. They cover fifty square miles. With these go the ruins of once extensive and magnificent strongpoints and buildings of Zimbabwe. Indeed it has been suggested that more work was expended on this irrigation system with its numerous forts and roads than on the building of an Egyptian pyramid. Many of the trees and plants found on this terraced area are not indigenous to south-east Africa but to India and Arabia. This mighty gold-mining settlement was overshadowed by the copper and tin enterprises around it. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

Bob Brain published his findings in a monumental book titled The Hunters or the Hunted? and conclusively demonstrated that it was not the ape-men that had accumulated the bones of the South African caves but carnivores and scavengers, particularly hyenas, saber-toothed cats, leopards, and porcupines. He found that the damaged bones of a young ape-man child were not caused by the bludgeoning of cannibals, as Dart had suggested, but were the result of hyena gnawing. Leopards were particularly important to Brain, who demonstrated that they were the most probable collecting agents of the ape-men at Swartkrans. The bird-of-prey hypothesis was not just a good detective story. It told us something more about the life of the australopithecines, poignantly revealing just how vulnerable these medium-size creatures were in their environment - preyed on not only by saber­toothed cats, hyenas, leopards, and the common carnivores, but even by ancient eagles. They were not the dominant animals in their environment, a far cry from what the later Homo species were like. Bob Brain was right. We were the hunted, not the hunters. (In the Footsteps of Eve)