Read more articles

Page 2 of 2
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    Paul HGM Dirks et al.
    Research Article

    We describe the physical context of the Dinaledi Chamber within the Rising Star cave, South Africa, which contains the fossils of Homo naledi. Approximately 1550 specimens of hominin remains have been recovered from at least 15 individuals, representing a small portion of the total fossil content. Macro-vertebrate fossils are exclusively H. naledi, and occur within clay-rich sediments derived from in situ weathering, and exogenous clay and silt, which entered the chamber through fractures that prevented passage of coarser-grained material. The chamber was always in the dark zone, and not accessible to non-hominins. Bone taphonomy indicates that hominin individuals reached the chamber complete, with disarticulation occurring during/after deposition. Hominins accumulated over time as older laminated mudstone units and sediment along the cave floor were eroded. Preliminary evidence is consistent with deliberate body disposal in a single location, by a hominin species other than Homo sapiens, at an as-yet unknown date.

    1. Evolutionary Biology
    Jessica C Thompson
    Insight

    More fossil specimens and an eagerly awaited age for Homo naledi raise new questions and open fresh opportunities for paleoanthropologists.

    1. Evolutionary Biology
    Edited by Ian Baldwin et al.
    Collection Updated

    eLife has published papers on topics as diverse as paleoproteomics, ancient insects and the discovery of a new hominin species.