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Curriculum Education

The collections at the Origins Centre address progressive and transformational curriculum outcomes.

We cover a wide variety of topics relating to ‘the dawn of time’ in archaeology, palaeontology and rock art and already engage with many schools both locally and nationally.

The Curriculum is discussed in front of exhibits of original art and objects, and are referred to by the guides who are supervised by academics.

Drakensberg and Kalahari plants and trees

  • Discussion of plants used by ritual specialists throughout southern Africa (5-8 min)

African Origins

  • Early African Lithic tools from 2.6 million to 60 000 years ago (10 min)
  • Film with Chris Henshilwood on the origins of humanity in Africa and the Blombos Ochre (5 min)
  • What makes us human and the origins of symbolic thought (5-7 min)
  • Four columns, containing stratigraphic sequences from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas (5 min)
  • A look at replicas of skulls showing our human evolution over the last 7 million years (10-15 min)
  • Genetic evidence for the out-of-Africa hypothesis (5 min)
  • Later Stone Age technology (5 min)
  • Film on the origins of humanity in Africa and a summary of the first section of the museum (5 min)

The San and Rock Art

  • The San and their hunter-gatherer past (10 min)
  • San genocide and Sara Baartman (5 min)
  • The eland in San thought (5 min)
  • The eland hunt, a short film (5 min)
  • A short film recreating a San rock painting using the artmaking technology of the San (5 min)
  • The many people who over the last 150 years have informed our research into San rock art (5-8 min)
  • The Great Dance, a film about the dance which allows San ritual specialists, to enter the spirit world (6 min)
  • The tiered cosmos and more information on the dance and associated objects (5 min)
  • Short film giving more information about the dance with the spirit worlds (3 min)
  • Engraved boulders (5 min)
  • Through the veil, rain making and neuropsychology (10 min)
  • Interpreting a rock art panel (5 min)


  • Conservation problems facing rock art sites today and site etiquette (5 min)

Tapestry Room

  • A film on the interpretation of San Art (12 min)
  • The history of the San told through 11 tapestry panels made by a women’s collective (5 min)
  • The ‘White Lady of the Brandberg’, a short film discussing the fascinating and controversial image (5 min)

Khoe Art

  • The geometric art found in southern Africa (5 min)
  • The great debate: a film debating who the Khoekhoen were, and if they made rock art (5 min)

Iron Age Farmers

  • The origins of Bantu language speakers (3 min)
  • Material culture, cattle and settlement patterns (5 min)
  • The rise of complex societies, including information on Maphungubwe and Great Zimbabwe (10 min)
  • Northern Sotho initiation art (5 min)
  • The first protest art (5 min)
  • The Maleboho war, a short film (5 min)
  • There is also a changing student exhibition

Installation by contemporary artists:

  • Wire sculpture by Walter Oltman illustrating the migration of humans out of Africa (5 min)
  • Axis Mundi by Russel Scott (5 min)
  • Signs of people by Willem Boshoff (5 min)
  • Double Vision by Pippa Skotnes and Malcolm Payne (10 min)