Figure 4. | Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

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Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

Figure 4.

Affiliation details

James Cook University, Australia; University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; University of Johannesburg, South Africa; University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States; Simon Fraser University, Canada; University of Colorado Denver, United States; Duke University, United States; Texas A&M University, United States; University of Zurich, Switzerland; American University, United States
Figure 4.
Download figureOpen in new tabFigure 4. Stratigraphic units and flowstones observed in the Dinaledi Chamber.

(A) Erosional remnant of horizontally laminated Unit 1 strata (Facies 1). (B) Close-up view of Unit 1 (Facies 1a) showing fine laminations and small invertebrate burrows (note fine sand infilling in burrows). (C) Overview photo of the Dinaledi Chamber, directly to the east of the entrance point into the chamber. Photo shows distribution of Flowstones 1–3 and stratigraphic Units 2 and 3. (D) Close-up view of Flowstone 1 encasing sediment of Unit 2. Note that several generations of flowstone (Flowstones 1a–e) are coating Unit 2. The thin, clear lower layer is Flowstone 1a, and the overlying white flowstone is either Flowstone 2 or 3. (E) Close-up view of Unit 2, consisting of generally poorly-cemented Facies 2 sediment. (F) View of the chamber floor near the entry point. On the cave floor, a large erosional remnant of Unit 1 (orange laminated mudstone of Facies 1a), is surrounded by mud-clast breccia of Unit 3 (main hominin bearing unit). Note that Flowstone 2 has been undercut by post-depositional erosion of Unit 3, which, in this location has resulted in a lowering of the floor by as much as 25 cm. (G) Flowstone 2 overlying Unit 3 in one of the chamber's side passages. In this location Unit 3 has also been partly eroded after depositional from underneath the flowstone drape, leaving a hanging remnant, with some indurated sediment of Unit 3 attached to its base. Note the continued deposition of sediment above Flowstone 2.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09561.006