Africa: New human ancestor discovered- Homo Naledi
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)
A new human species has been revealed at the Cradle of Humankind on Gauteng’s West rand, called the Homo-Naledi.
This is said to be the largest human fossil ensemble to be discovered on the African continent.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the fossil species will change the way we see the future.
Ramaphosa addressed delegates where the ground breaking discovery was being announced.
“Today we unearth our past. In unearthing our past we also unearth knowledge, about our present. We get to understand our present even better. Today we also get to get a glimpse of our future.”
The discovery of a new species of human relative was announced today, 10 September 2015, by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University), the National Geographic Society and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF).
Besides shedding light on the origins and diversity of our genus, the new species, Homo Naledi, appears to have intentionally deposited bodies of its dead in a remote cave chamber, a behaviour previously thought limited to humans.
Consisting of more than 1 550 numbered fossil elements, the discovery is the single largest fossil hominin find yet made on the continent of Africa.
The initial discovery was made in 2013 in a cave known as Rising Star in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, by Wits University scientists and volunteer cavers.
The fossils, which have yet to be dated, laid in a chamber about 90 meters (some 100 yards) from the cave entrance, accessible only through a chute so narrow that a special team of very slender individuals was needed to retrieve them.
So far, the team has recovered parts of at least 15 individuals of the same species, a small fraction of the fossils believed to remain in the chamber. – Additional text by Wits University and National Geographic.
Video: SABC- South Africa reveals new human species Homo Naledi
Video: New Human Ancestor Discovered: Homo Naledi
Video: SABC- South Africa The discovery of Homo-Naledi- Njanji Chauke
Video: Homo naledi’s burial ritual is the most extraordinary find imaginable
Video: See how scientists identified our new human ancestor
Video: University of the Witwatersrand professor Lee Berger introduces Homo naledi