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Rising Star cave system

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Finding ancient fire use in the Rising Star cave system

The study of the underground landscape enters a new phase with evidence of charcoal and burned animal bone in deep chambers.

A piece of charcoal upon a brown surface with tiny rodent bones visible
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Research highlight: Pelvic fragment from the Lesedi Chamber

A new paper from our team led by Zachary Cofran looks at the immature ilium that is currently the most complete pelvic fragment of Homo naledi.

Research highlight: Pelvic fragment from the Lesedi Chamber
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Research highlight: A partial skull from Rising Star

Our team uncovered the tiny skull in a near-impossible crevice deep in the cave system.

Reconstruction of Leti skull.
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Fossil profile: U.W. 101-258 and humeral torsion

A humerus from the Dinaledi Chamber gives some insight into the behavior of Homo naledi.

U.W. 101-283 humerus illustration with information added
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Research highlight: A look at the questions raised by Homo naledi

A chapter that presents some of the key topics shaping our continuing investigations of the Rising Star cave system.

Cast of the LES1 skull of Homo naledi, held by a hand.
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Lecture: How Homo naledi matters to our origins

A lecture in 2020 covering some of the latest research and new questions arising from the Rising Star cave system.

John Hawks at a podium that is labeled with the CARTA logo
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Research highlight: Introducing a juvenile skeleton of Homo naledi

We put together excavation records, 3D imagery, and laboratory analysis of bones and teeth to understand the preservation of a skeleton from the Dinaledi Chamber.

Photo showing bones of DH7 in situ in Dinaledi Chamber excavation
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My photo of the Neo skull is named one of the top science images of the year

I am feeling really honored to have one of my photos of Neo included as one of Cosmos magazine’s “Top 10 science images of 2017” []. It’s the frontal view of the Neo skull. I’ve always thought that human evolutionary science has some

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My article giving an overview of our symposium on Homo naledi

An article written for American Scientist gives the current state of our research into the biology of this species.

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Looking at the hypothesis of deliberate deposition for Homo naledi

An exchange of views in the Journal of Human Evolution includes an examination of evidence about how skeletons ended up in the Dinaledi Chamber.

Homo naledi bones arranged on a dark table.