Homo naledi hands by Peter Schmid, cc Wits University

Jury still out on Homo naledi, as majority of fossils remain in chamber

In the dark and humid Dinaledi Chamber at the Cradle of Humankind, dozens – possibly hundreds – of fossils are still undisturbed. This week, National Geographic explorer-in-residence and Wits University professor Lee Berger announced the discovery of 15 individuals, which his team of international scientists claim is a new species, Homo naledi, that were deposited in this site, intentionally by their kin.

Most of the Dinaledi Chamber (“chamber of many stars” in Sotho) remains unexcavated, and this – according to international scientists – along with the lack of date-stamp attached to the specimens – creates suspicion about the conclusions draw by the team and expedition, which were funded by National Geographic, Wits University and the National Research Foundation.

 

First published in the Sunday Independent and Weekend Argus. Find the rest of the story here.

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