I’ve been sort of glued to my radio… Radio 702 has been
broadcasting from the Marupeng Cradle of Humankind (South Africa)
about Prof Lee Berger’s latest amazing find… and you know my deep
interest in Anthropology.
Situated in a deep, off-shoot cave, 15 fossilised full skeletons
have been discovered of a tiny new Homo species.
Named Homo Naledi (means star).
While living it would have stood 1.4m tall, about 3.8 feet.
Feet display evolution to enable long distance walking and running.
Almost indistinguishable from modern feet. Hips are more ape like
as are the shoulders which curve upwards (possible good tree
climbers). Body is thin and quite skinny. Hands have curved
fingers with very powerful thumbs, while the head is very small
with a brain about the size of an orange. Teeth are very similar
to ours but with some interesting variances.
It is only these fossils that have been discovered, not a single
animal in the chamber!
The chamber in which these 15 fossils were found is entranced by
means of a 12m long chute with a tiny 18cm pinch. Only very small
people could get in and work there.
The bone strewn chamber was discovered by some cavers who realised
this could be important. Not wanting to interfere with the bones,
they took photos and went to show Prof Berger.
The fossils are not able to be dated yet as the chamber is a time
capsule with no evidence to enable dating on the humanoids. The
current guess is at about 2m years.
While the age of the fossils does have some importance, the massive
excitement is it is believed this was a burial chamber and that
this is the first evidence that ancient man possibly thought about
mortality and buried their dead in a probable ritual. Each
skeleton so far was fully intact with not a bone disturbed!
Only part of the chamber has been investigated so far. It is
thought there may be many more still to be found.
Hope you find this as exciting as I did.
Blogger Barry: Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed. Please
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Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
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