The Daily Maverick reports that t the Rising Star cave system – the home of Homo naledi – has yielded a series of startling new finds: not least that there was still a great deal more exploring to be done, that modern humans may have known Homo naledi a lot better than we previously thought, and perhaps most amazingly, a skull intact enough to allow facial reconstruction.
The research, consisting of three papers published in the journal eLife, firstly describes the age of the naledi fossils found in the Dinaledi Chamber, which they say is considerably younger than expected, suggesting Homo naledi may have come into contact with modern man.
Second, it announces the discovery of a second chamber, Lesedi, in the Rising Star cave system, containing further specimens of homo naledi virtually identical to those first found in the Dinaledi chamber in 2015.
Third, it describes the discovery of remarkably well-preserved remains in the additional chamber, including a child and a partial skeleton of an adult male, with what the team calls a “spectacularly well-preserved skull” – complete enough to enable a facial reconstruction. “We finally got a look at the face of homo naledi,” said Peter Schmid of Wits and the University of Zurich, who spent hundreds of hours reconstructing the bones.