Incredible story out of South Africa. In 2013, a treasure trove of bones were discovered deep in a cave from a group of people who lived 3 million to 4 million years ago. The bones point to a primitive person similar to humans but also retaining some ape like qualities.
The humanoids have been labeled the Homo naledi. Homo because they are connected to modern humans in some respects (but experts point out, not a direct connection) and naledi means “star” in the local Sesotho language. The remains were discovered near Johannesburg in the Rising Star cave system.
The bones show a human like person who may have stood 5 feet tall and weighed around 100 pounds. The brains were small, not much larger than a chimpanzee. Males and females had a similar body type.
What separates this find and these people from apes is that it appears that bones come from a burial chamber. Burying the dead is generally considered a uniquely human trait. Also the chamber is exceptionally dark and wild animals generally don’t travel into the dark.
The cave was down an exceptionally narrow cavern. Six scientists could fit down there and one of those was SFU PhD student Marina Elliott! (click this link to see some awesome pictures of Elliott in action!)
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