“With almost every bone in the body represented multiple times, Homo naledi is already practically the best-known fossil member of our lineage,” said Lee Berger, research professor in the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of Witwatersrand. Berger is also a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and leader of the two expeditions that discovered the fossils.
The fossil hominin was found in a cave known as Rising Star in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, located in the north west of Johannesburg. The species’ parts were found in a chamber roughly 90 meters from the entrance of the cave, and consist of the parts of fifteen individuals including infants, children and adults.
What is most significant about this discovery is the strong suggestion that that the hominin may have practiced a form of ritualised behaviour, which was thought to have been unique to humans alone.