The Africus monolith is a rectangular slab standing fifteen feet high, that was placed on the continent of Africa, on Earth, some millions of years ago by the “monolith aliens”. The monolith was discovered by man-apes during the Pleistocene. It is featured as “New Rock” in the introduction of Kubrick and Clarke’s 2001 project.
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Africus monolith served as a catalyst for the evolution of intelligence. It was first discovered by Moonwatcher and his tribe of man-apes, who considered it to be a “New Rock”. The monolith appears to probe their minds, and by some unseen force, instigates their intellectual capability. It disappears after three days.
New Rock was later discovered by humans in the year 2513; unearthed in a gorge in Africa. It was given the designation TMA-0, because it was the first to come in contact with evolutionary ancestors of the humans. Unlike the others, it was not as pristine as before, now ignored by the other monoliths.