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Light on our past


Exciting findings from the Rising Star cave system

The international team of scientists led by Wits’ Professor Lee Berger (PhD 1994, DSc 2014) has found that the hominin species Homo naledi was present in South Africa more recently than previously thought. In fact, it is likely that it lived alongside anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens).

The team has also found a second chamber in the Rising Star cave system, containing more examples of Homo naledi. One of these fossils is a “wonderfully complete” skull. Skull of Homo naledi fossil Neo

Prof Berger explains what the team found here.

Team member Prof John Hawks talks about what it all means in an interview with The Conversation. 

The original fossils are on public display at Maropeng, the visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.