The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Homo naledi captivates the world

10 September 2015

The discovery of a new species, Homo naledi, is expected to catch the imagination and stimulate the interest of people across the world, says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He said the discovery of the new species in Maropeng, at the Cradle of Humankind, situated about 50km northwest of Johannesburg, will attract national and international tourists, who are excited about knowledge and learning, into the country.

“It will encourage us to enquire further about the whole scope of human existence, the world around us, and the world before us.”

Earlier today, the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University), the National Geographic Society, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) announced the discovery of Homo naledi.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said research at the Cradle of Humankind will yield yet more information for decades to come.

“These discoveries underline the fact that despite our individual differences in appearance, language, beliefs and cultural practices, we are bound together by a common ancestry.

“The discovery will be written in the history books. At least something new is coming out of Africa. In time, this is going to reveal more about ourselves,” he said.

Rising Star Expeditions

Consisting of more than 1 550 numbered fossil elements, the discovery is the single largest fossil hominid find yet made on the continent of Africa.

Homo naledi was named after the Rising Star cave, “Naledi” which means “star” in Sesotho, a local South African language.

The fossil material was recovered in two expeditions, conducted in November 2013 and March 2014, dubbed the Rising Star Expeditions.

In the initial expedition, over a period of 21 days, more than 60 cavers and scientists worked together in what was described as “some of the most difficult and dangerous conditions ever encountered in the search for human origins”.

The fossils were analysed in a unique workshop in May 2014 funded by the South African Department of Science and Technology, the National Research Foundation, Wits University and National Geographic.

More than 50 experienced scientists and early career researchers came together to study and analyse the treasure trove of fossils and to compose scientific papers.

Ground-breaking discovery

Award-winning researcher, paleoanthropologist, physical anthropologist and archaeologist, Professor Lee Berger, lead the team that made the discovery in the Rising Star.

“This is the most interesting discovery on our soil and this is going to put the country on the map,” he said, adding that this will draw more scientists to the country.

“The discovery is as a result of the outstanding work by the team,” he said, adding that the discovery was an extra-ordinary experience.

He described the team of scientists who were working with him as heroes.

Vice Chancellor at the University of Witwatersrand, Professor Adam Habid, said the discovery was a historic moment in the world. “Scientific achievement gave us hope,” he said.

Terry Garcia, the National Geographic Society’s Chief Science and Exploration Officer, said this was a “tremendously significant find”.

Garcia said after receiving a call about the discovery, they immediately agreed to support the initiative. “We immediately committed our support to this remarkable effort,” he said.

Physical features of Homo naledi

According to scientists, Homo naledi is a bit smaller and a lot older than people, with curved fingers and a small skull, but in some ways the species is also strikingly similar to humankind.  

Homo naledi’s teeth are described as similar to those of the earliest-known members of human genus, such as Homo habilis, as are most features of the skull.

Research shows the average Homo naledi was 1.5 metres tall and weighed about 45kg. Homo naledi had a brain the size of an orange and a slender body. The shoulders, however, are more similar to those of apes.

SAnews.gov.za

More News                 

Gusen: Granite and death, memory and oblivion18/09/2017
article thumbnail

Gusen: Granite and death, memory and oblivion 18 September 2017 The opening ceremony of the exhibition "Gusen: Granite and death, memory and oblivion" took place on 7 September 2017 at the Johannesb [ ... ]


Jamaica’s 55th Independence Celebrations15/09/2017
article thumbnail

Jamaica’s 55th Independence Celebrations 15 September 2017 On 2 September 2017, Jamaica’s High Commissioner, H.E. Cheryl Spencer and Staff hosted a Reception in celebration of Jamaica’s 55th a [ ... ]


17th Annual Regional Seminar on International Humanitarian Law15/09/2017
article thumbnail

17th Annual Regional Seminar on International Humanitarian Law 14 September 2017 The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (I [ ... ]


Seeking study opportunities15/09/2017
article thumbnail

Seeking study opportunities 14 September 2017 A delegation from China recently visited the Pearson Institute for Higher Education in Ashlea Gardens Pretoria, to talk about study opportunities for Ch [ ... ]


 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________________________________

August 2017 Edition

 
 
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Doing Business in Sri Lanka The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pretoria in partnership with the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) organized a trade and investment promotion... <|> Daesh defeated Daesh, the extremist group that occupied the city of Mosul in Iraq has been defeated, said Ambassador Dr Saad Jawad Kindeel of Iraq to South Africa at a press conference held at the... <|> 65th National Day of the Arab Republic of Egypt 4 August 2017 H.E. Ambassador Sherif Issa and Madame Dina Zeidan hosted a reception on the occasion of the 65th National Day of the Arab Republic of... <|> Vietnam Cuisine Week Ambassador Vu Van Dzung of Vietnam in South Africa hosted the opening of the Vietnam Cuisine Week at Saigon Restaurant in Rivonia, Johannesburg. The Embassy of Vietnam is... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> The story of Diamond Lakes and the legendary Pienaar’s Pothole The story of Diamond Lakes and the legendary Pienaar’s Pothole is what intrigued Dr Navin Naidoo to go into the world of Diamonds... <|> The United Nations stands with South Africa’s women 9 August 2017 Pretoria, South Africa: The United Nations in South Africa extends its warm wishes to the women of South Africa on the... <|> UAE Embassy Women's Day initiative The staff at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in South Africa visited the Youth for Survival shelter on Women's Day and donated goods. The donation included... <|> H.E. Ambassador-Designate Lin Songtian arrives in SA Speaking to the press upon his arrival at O.R Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, Ambassador–Designate Lin Songtian said he is back in... <|> Independence Day of Bolivia 6 August 2017 Bolivia signed its declaration of independence on August 6, 1825 and marked the first Independence Day for Bolivia. On Sunday, the Bolivian community... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.