Cornelia

This small rural town was founded in 1875 and named after Cornelia, the wife of a former president of the Free State, Francis Reitz. The town is renowned throughout the Free State Province for its archaeological significance and its rich fossil sites.

Archaeology And Palaeontology

Fossil Site: One of the most significant fossil sites in the Free State lies on the farm Uitzoek about 10 km out of town on the banks of the Schoonspruit. The owner of the farm had been aware of the fossils since boyhood but only realised their significance when Dr ECN van Hoepen of the National Museum in Bloemfontein inspected the site. The Museum then undertook large-scale excavations and many valuable fossils of extinct species of antelope, a giant buffalo, an extinct sub-species of hippo, four new species of horses and of a donkey-sized pig, as well as many stone-age tools, were discovered. Contact the Municipality if you wish to visit the site.

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