Many researchers are interested in the genetic history of the Khoe-San.
The South African Khoe-San communities are no strangers to exploitative research. One research team is trying to provide genetic ancestry results to community members. But they still face many challenges.
A life reconstruction of
Australopithecus sediba commissioned by the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.
[© Sculpture: Elisabeth Daynes/Photograph: S. Entressangle
Studying the lower back allows researchers to understand how the species’ anatomy was adapted for different kinds of movement.
A reconstruction of the skull of Leti, the first
Homo naledi child whose remains were found in the Rising Star cave in Johannesburg.
© Wits University
The fossil material was recovered from the surface of a tight, narrow passage that can only be accessed with difficulty by one person at a time.
Researchers examined the traces of what was likely a human settlement in the Cradle of Humankind.
Stone-walled structures such as Driefontein often store information that’s not written down and are the only remaining resources to help understand local histories.
It is essential to add genomic data from all global populations - including Africa. This will ensure that everyone can benefit from the advances in health.
The ~2 Ma Homo erectus cranium, DNH 134, from the Drimolen Fossil Hominin site.
Matthew V. Caruana
This is a hugely important find. It means that one of our earlier ancestors possibly originated in southern Africa.
Little Foot’s skull, with the arrow on the right-hand image indicating the specimen’s atlas.
R.J. Clarke/Author supplied
The findings suggest that this specimen could climb and move in trees. But it may also have been able to walk on the ground. This echoes previous studies.
The trilobite manuport (Bainella sp) from Robberg on the Cape south coast was carried at least 10 km to a small cave shelter. For scale, the bar is 10 cm long.
Geomythology can be a powerful way to inspire more people on the continent to become interested in Africa’s palaeoscience.
“Little Foot’s” skull and a 3-D rendering of the endocast.
Beaudet et al. 2019 Journal of Human Evolution
Thanks to hundreds of fossil remains found in Africa studies can explore new scenarios about how our ancestors lived and evolved.
Beautifully preserved flowstone and sediment layers from the Cradle of Humankind.
Dr Robyn Pickering
South Africa’s fossils can step out of the shadows of being undated and undateable.
The Taung child (foreground) was the first of a long series of human ancestors discovered in Africa.
Recent research suggests that humankind’s origins lay outside of Africa. This is the nature of science: a paradigm that cannot be questioned on a regular basis becomes a dogma.
The fossil remains which have caused all the consternation.
Jochen Fuss, Nikolai Spassov, David R. Begun, Madelaine Böhme/via Wikimedia Commons
The theory that humankind originated in Europe is an old one. It was abandoned in 1924 when the first Australopithecus was discovered in South Africa.
A replica of a Homo naledi skull.
New evidence suggests that Homo naledi didn’t deliberately deposit their dead in a hidden chamber.
A replica of the remains of “Lucy” at the National Museum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
When it comes to valuable African fossils, much is at stake. They often unearth disputed ways of debating archaeology as a science of ‘discovery’.