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Scientists are researching a possible re-dating of when life on earth first occurred.This could possibly be one billion years earlier than estimated.But, although Lydenburg was healthier, marauding Bapedi armies under the leadership of Kgosi Sekhukhune fought a series of bloody pitched battles with the settlers, monuments to which can still be seen in the area.

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They are interpreted to represent lava which erupted from the depths of a deep subterranean environment.The town of Lydenburg, in Mpumalanga Province, was founded in 1850 by the company of Voortrekker leader Andries Potgieter who had abandoned their first settlement -Ohrigstad.This is because it is only in the beautifully preserved rocks of the Makhonjwas that they are able to find the clues that science needs to learn about the earth's earliest history and the way life began. this area is home to an incredible variety of endemic native plants and animals occurring only within this particular area in South Africa.The small and beautiful "Makhonjwa Mountain Range"close to Barberton, where gold and asbestos deposits occur, stretches from Jeppe’s Reef to Oshoek and from Shiyalongubo Dam to Queen’s river.

It is known world wide in geological circles as a treasure house of other significant geological phenomenae.The Lydenburg heads are one of the earliest known forms of African sculpture in Southern Africa and are dated at between AD500 and AD800.There are seven hollow terracotta sculptures which are named after the site at which they were discovered in the late 1950s.It was once the capital of its own independent republic, and still boasts some of the best preserved Zuid Afrikaanse and old Transvaal architecture in the country.Lydenburg, which means "place of suffering" was founded by these pioneering Voortrekkers fleeing malaria and the debilitating heat of lower lying areas in the early 1800s.Replicas of the seven terracotta 'Lydenburg heads' found in the valley of the Sterkspruit and dating to the 5th century are to be found at the local museum.