Temporal range: 0.335–0.236
|A sample of the 1,550 skeletal pieces recovered|
|Location of discovery in Gauteng, South Africa|
Homo naledi is an
The species is characterised by a body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations, a smaller
The fossils were discovered by recreational
The word "naledi" means "star" in the Sotho-Tswana languages. It, and the corresponding name Dinaledi Chamber ("chamber of stars"), were chosen to reference the Rising Star cave system where the fossils were found.[a]
On 13 September 2013, while exploring the Rising Star cave system looking for an extension, recreational
In November 2013, the
A tentative explanation for the fossil material being disarticulated and broken is that bodies were dropped from a considerable height (either the 12-meter entrance shaft or some since closed 30-meter surface shaft) and were later moved by periodic floods[
The description of the new species was announced at a press conference on 10 September 2015 held at Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg, South Africa. A display case of the fossils was unveiled during the ceremony and subsequently, was on display to the public at Maropeng throughout September and October 2015.
The University of the Witwatersrand is the curator of the fossils. The fossils are owned by the Republic of South Africa and will likely stay there in accordance with a 1998 resolution by the International Association for the Study of Human Paleontology, also approved by a South African permanent council member of the organisation – "strongly recommending that original hominid fossils not be transported beyond the boundaries of the country of origin, unless there are compelling scientific reasons which must include the demonstration that the proposed investigations cannot proceed in the foreseeable future in the country of origin".