Skip to content

Panel: Who or what is Homo naledi?

Lee Berger, Agustin Fuentes, and I had a provocative conversation sharing our different perspectives on work related to the Rising Star cave system.

1 min read
John Hawks with bookshelves in the background
John Hawks on the Homo naledi panel

Earlier this fall, the Cambridge University Biological Anthropology Society invited me to be part of a panel discussing our recent work on Homo naledi. The panel included Lee Berger and Agustin Fuentes together with me.

The three of us have some collaborative work underway but we have different perspectives and interests. We planned our conversation to pull out some of those areas where we have different ideas. I ask Lee and Agustin: Is Homo naledi human? We talk about the value of open access to fossil data, and consider why H. naledi is being left out of some analyses by other researchers.

It was a very interesting conversation with some great questions from the audience. I'm pleased that the sponsors have shared it online and I can share it here.

Video by John HawksHomo naledi
John Hawks

John Hawks Twitter

I'm a paleoanthropologist exploring the world of ancient humans and our fossil relatives.


Related Posts

Members Public

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
Members Public

Research highlight: The frontal sinuses of fossil hominins

A look inside the skulls of hominins reveals the extensive variation in the form of the internal structures known as the frontal sinuses.

Crania of Petralona and LES1 showing the extent of their frontal sinuses
Members Public

Research highlight: Vertebral wedging in Homo naledi

In a new paper led by Scott Williams, we look at the way that the Homo naledi lower vertebral column compares to humans and other extinct hominins.

Vertebral column preserved for the LES1 skeleton in left lateral, anterior, posterior, and right lateral views.