For the first time, the fossils of Homo naledi were discovered in 2013 in the Republic of South Africa. In 2017, while exploring the cave complex of the Rising Star of South Africa, the burial of Homo Naledi was discovered. Among them are the remains of a child who died between the ages of 4 and 6. Among his remains, 6 teeth and 28 skull fragments were found. This discovery marked the beginning of a dispute among scientists that has not subsided to this day.
The mystery of Homo Naledi burialThe fosils of Homo naledi were discovered by the same researchers who five years earlier managed to find the remains of Australopithecus sediba. They were paleontologist Lee Roger Berger from South Africa with his team. In 2017, the excavations were already carried out by anthropologist John Hawkes in the same cave complex.
The researchers carefully studied the cave complex and found no hidden passages to the burial site. To get to the remains, they had to overcome many incredible obstacles. For example, to pass through some narrow passages, they had to exhale air from their lungs, and some sections required acrobatic skills from the researchers.
This made scientists think about how the remains ended up so deep in the caves and why they were placed there. Studies of the cave complex have shown that its structure remained relatively stable all this time, that is, the path to the remains was still difficult.
Predators or natural disasters also could not be the cause, since there were no characteristic injuries on the fossils. In this connection, some researchers have suggested that representatives of this species could thus get rid of the dead. This statement has faced a lot of criticism from scientists, since it is believed that Homo naledi was too primitive, and the burial culture of hominids appeared much later. In addition, the path to the Dinaledi Chamber, where the remains were found, is too difficult and dangerous for the bodies of the dead to be deliberately carried there.
However, there is no clear answer as to how the remains of Homo naledi ended up so deep in the cave today.
The mystery of the brain structureAfter the fossils of Homo naledi were first discovered, scientists determined their age to be 2-1 million years old. They came to this conclusion based on the small size of the hominins brain. However, in 2017, after conducting a number of studies, including methods of electron-spin resonance and uranium-thorium dating, their age was estimated at 367-238 thousand years. The main question that follows from this is how this species survived surrounded by hominins with a more developed brain. This discovery forced a revision of the theory of evolution, which gave rise to the theory that Homo naledi separated early from the development branch of Homo sapiens. According to scientists, this species separated no later than 900 thousand years ago. There is a possibility that this species is the result of a cross between a hominin and a late Australopithecus. The body weight of Homo naledi is in the middle between Australopithecus and Homo sapiens: his height is on average 144 cm, weight 40 kg.
Homo naledi consumed exclusively solid food. So hard that he had to take stones in his mouth to chew the raw meat , unwashed roots or tubers. This is evidenced by numerous chips on their teeth, even in small children.
Homo Naledi is a mysterious species of hominins, the secret of which scientists have yet to reveal. If you are also conquered by Homo naledi, in Scullmaskcraft you can purchase a reconstruction of the hominin skull.