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Homo naledi, our new human relative

- By Wits University

It is the single largest fossil hominin find yet made on the continent of Africa.

Wits University announced the discovery of a new species of human relative, and named it Homo naledi, on Thursday, 10 September 2015.

Most remarkable, besides shedding light on the origins and diversity of our genus, H. naledi also appears to have intentionally deposited bodies of its dead in a remote cave chamber, a behaviour previously thought limited to humans.

Professor Lee Berger and the Rising Star Expedition have discovered more than 1 550 numbered fossil elements – the single largest fossil hominin find yet made on the continent of Africa.

Wits University Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib, South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Professor Lee Berger.

Professor Lee Berger (left) and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (right).

Professor Lee Berger engaging with the media during the launch.

Professor Lee Berger (centre) with South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (to his left) showing the #naledifossils to delegates.

The Homo naledi fossils on display.

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