“Acting on a tip from spelunkers two years ago, scientists in South Africa discovered piles of old bones deep in the Rising Star cave. It was, they concluded, a chamber for the dead of a new species of human ancestor: Homo naledi. Besides introducing a new member of the prehuman family, the discovery suggests that some early hominins intentionally deposited bodies of their dead in a remote and largely inaccessible cave chamber — once thought to be behavior limited to modern humans. The photographer Naashon Zalk photographed Lee R. Berger, an American paleoanthropologist who works at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, inside the #cave where he and his team recovered H. naledi. They aren’t sure yet how old the fossils are. But the brain, which is no larger than an average orange, suggests that the species must be more than 2.5 million to 2.8 million years old.” By nytimes on Instagram.
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