Professor Lee Berger, Research Professor in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science in the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University and team leader for the Rising Star Expedition, introduces Homo naledi.
On 10 September 2015 Wits University presented Homo naledi, a new species of human relative, to the world during an international launch at Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, some 40kms west of Johannesburg.
Within a deep and narrow cave in South Africa, paleoanthropologist Lee Berger and his team found fossil remains belonging to the newest member of our human family. The Homo naledi discovery adds another exciting chapter to the human evolution story by introducing an ancestor that was primitive but shared physical characteristics with modern humans.
Space-age exploration for Homo naledi fossils. Ashley Kruger, a PhD candidate in Palaeoanthropology at the Wits Evolutionary Studies Institute, roped in the use of high-tech laser scanning, photogrammetry and 3D mapping technology to map Homo naledi's Dinaledi chamber.
Homo naledi scientists apply the principle of open access, the unrestricted online access to research. The first Homo naledi research was published in the open access journal, eLife, where anyone can access the scientific papers. Here Randy Scheckman, Editor-in-Chief of eLife, shares his thoughts on the discovery.
Discovering Homo Naledi: Journey to Find a Human Ancestor, Part 1
In 2013, paleoanthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence Lee Berger made a remarkable discovery: While exploring the Rising Star cave system in South Africa, his team stumbled upon one of the greatest fossil discoveries in the past half century.