Digging History

Human ancestor discovery
It's a discovery that rocked the archaeological world -- scientists working at Moropeng, the site outside Johannesburg known as the 'Cradle of Humankind,' discovered a mass underground cave housing the remains of hundreds of individuals that the researchers say belong to a new species of the human family. Researchers named the creature Homo naledi. That reflects the "Homo" evolutionary group, which includes modern people and our closest extinct relatives, and the word for "star" in a local language. The find was made in the Rising Star cave system.

Introducing Homo naledi

Professor Adam Habib, holds a reconstruction of Homo naledi presented during the announcement made in Magaliesburg, South Africa, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. Scientists say they've discovered a new member of the human family tree. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Homo naledi is ready for its closeup

A reconstruction of Homo naledi presented during the announcement made in Magaliesburg, South Africa, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Skeletal fragments

Fragments of bone are arranged with skeletal parts of Homo naledi, with hundreds of other fossil elements. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Composite skeleton

A composite skeleton of Homo naledi. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

A different perspective

A different view of the composite skeleton of Homo naledi. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

A surprising mix

Scientists say the huge trove of bones found in the barely accessible, pitch-dark chamber of a cave in South Africa, show a surprising mix of human-like and more primitive characteristics. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

A new branch on the tree

Researchers named the creature Homo naledi. That reflects the "Homo" evolutionary group, which includes modern people and our closest extinct relatives, and the word for "star" in a local language. The find was made in the Rising Star cave system. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Human ancestor discovery

It's a discovery that rocked the archaeological world -- scientists working at Moropeng, the site outside Johannesburg known as the 'Cradle of Humankind,' discovered a mass underground cave housing the remains of hundreds of individuals that the researchers say belong to a new species of the human family. Researchers named the creature Homo naledi. That reflects the "Homo" evolutionary group, which includes modern people and our closest extinct relatives, and the word for "star" in a local language. The find was made in the Rising Star cave system.

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