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                 

SA open for increased German investment17/02/2020
article thumbnail

SA open for increased German investment 6 February 2020 South Africa is keen to attract higher levels of investment from Germany and to increase bilateral trade, says President Cyril Ramaphosa. The [ ... ]


Traditional Leaders: unsung heroes of the liberation struggle and colonial resistance?13/02/2020
article thumbnail

Traditional Leaders: unsung heroes of the liberation struggle and colonial resistance? By Stella Sigcau 13 February 2020 2020 marks 30 years since the release of the global icon the late former Pre [ ... ]


The fall of a legend: Joseph Shabalala of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo passes13/02/2020
article thumbnail

The fall of a legend: Joseph Shabalala of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo passes By Stella Sigcau 12 February 2020 On 11 February 2020 South Africans woke up to the sad news of the passing of a musical [ ... ]


Foreign Affairs of Australia – South Asia: Resting a New Agenda for the 21st Century11/02/2020
article thumbnail

Foreign Affairs of Australia – South Asia:  Resting a New Agenda for the 21st Century 11 February 2011 By Srimal Fernando and Ellise Camilleri There is much scholarship on the rising power  [ ... ]


 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________________________________

January/February 2020

 
 
.
_________________________________________________

Translater


 

 

  
 
 
 
 

 
 
                                                     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

<|> <|> Indonesian Tourism responds to Millennials and wins Award 8 October 2019 "The challenge to the tourism world is not getting easier. It is not only the global economic slowdown, but also a change in... <|> A MEMORIAL, CORONATION, ENGAGEMENT AND A WEDDING: A ROYAL AFFAIR by Stella Sigcau 15 October 2019 September and October months were very busy in the royal calendars throughout South Africa... <|> Culture and Heritage Tourism Boost the Economy of the Mpondo Kingdom Mbotyi and Mngazi 15 October 2019 By Stella Sigcau Mpondo Kingdom is known for its cultural richness, beautiful... <|> SADC enhances cooperation with Indonesia 15 October 2019 ”Indonesia is ready to be part of the African development, especially in the southern African region” Photo: Ambassador of the Republic... <|> A rising star ready to make it internationally by Stella Sigcau 16 October 2019 Azemahle Lwanda Matebese a 13 year old, grade 8 scholar from Durban Girls High School has had a passion for dancing... <|> Korea calls for ease of doing business in SA 2 October 2019 This year marks Korea’s 4,352nd anniversary since its national foundation, and the 71st anniversary of its Armed Forces Day. In South... <|> Russia-Africa look to deepen scientific ties 14 October 2019 With a week to go until the first ever Russia-Africa Summit, Russia has emphasised the need to expand and deepen scientific ties between... <|> SA, Nigeria commit to condusive business environment 4 October 2019 The governments of South Africa and Nigeria have committed to creating a conducive business environment that will make it easier... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.