WATCH | World-class dinosaur grave find in Eastern Cape
Experts gather after Sterkspruit shepherd stumbles over old bone
Shepherd Dumangwe Tyhobela of Sterkspruit is being credited with the exciting discovery of a massive dinosaur graveyard in the Eastern Cape.
The unique “bone bed” site near remote Qhemegha village is being hailed by scientists as one of the biggest fossil collections in the world.
At team of 11 scientists from five top universities – Oxford, Birmingham, Zurich, Wits and Johannesburg – are beavering away on the site.
Tyhobela, 56, who left school after Grade 5, is the toast of the tiny, remote village 25km north of Sterkspruit and 24km from the Tele border gate to Lesotho.
It was his determined pursuit to identify the strange bone-like stone he found in the veld that led to some of the world’s top paleontologists descending on the site to excavate.
Now villagers are hoping for academic spinoffs for schoolchildren, and future tourism.
Tyhobela told the Dispatch that on a cool afternoon in March 2016, while he was tending his sheep, he spotted an odd stone down a donga with a small stream running through it. He immediately thought of selling it to a sangoma for muthi...