Nelson Mandela University

Nelson Mandela University, as a dynamic African University, is committed to excellence and innovation, and fostering a pioneering and inventive spirit among our students and scholars. It is a University that acts as a social laboratory for experimentation, innovation and creativity to find answers to epic challenges facing society and the economy today.

NMU recently established and launched a number of research hubs such as the Centre for Broadband Communication to conduct pioneering research around optical fibre data transport for the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope; an innovation hub to support small business in Port Elizabeth and beyond; a Centre for African Palaeoscience; and a Research Chair in Earth Systems Science. More exciting is the development currently underway of a range of new maritime and marine education and training, research, innovation and engagement programmes to support South Africa and the continent’s blue economy initiatives.

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A rock surface containing a circular pattern with a central depression. The scale bar = 10 cm. Images modified from: Helm, C.W.; Cawthra, H.C.; De Vynck, J.C.; Helm, C.J.; Rust, R.; Stear. W. Patterns in the Sand: A Pleistocene hominin signature along the South African coastline? Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association (2019)

Ancient humans may have made patterns and sculptures on South Africa’s beaches

Given that we know humans moved across these landscapes, we wondered whether there might also be evidence of other forms of human activity on these surfaces of sand.
The trilobite manuport (Bainella sp) from Robberg on the Cape south coast was carried at least 10 km to a small cave shelter. For scale, the bar is 10 cm long. Author Supplied

How we know that ancient African people valued fossils and rocks

Geomythology can be a powerful way to inspire more people on the continent to become interested in Africa's palaeoscience.

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