About PAST (Palaeontological Scientific Trust)

Africa is the birthplace of humankind, the continent on which ancestors of all people originated. As a place for preserving a fossil record for the origins of humans and other life forms, it is unmatched in its richness and time depth.

Development of Africa's fossil heritage for the benefit of the continent requires the coordination of private, corporate and governmental support for the creation of long lasting origin sciences education, research and outreach programmes.

It requires an African-based champion for and global commitment to the idea that Africans should be the custodians of African heritage.

That is why the Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST) was established in 1994.

Standard Bank has been the principal corporate funder of the Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST) since 1997. PAST is a Johannesburg-based public benefit organisation which, since 1994, has been dedicated to the protection, preservation and promotion of Africa's ancient cultural and natural heritage for the benefit of Africans and humankind in its entirety. As the continent's hub for the promotion and support of the origin sciences, PAST has brought together scientists, businesses, government, civil society and communities for the sustained advancement of research, education and public awareness of the origins sciences, including palaeontology, palaeoanthropology, archaeology and cognate sciences.


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