New fossil remains of Homo naledi from the Lesedi Chamber, South Africa

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Hawks, John; Elliott, Marina; Schmid, Peter; Churchill, Steven E; Ruiter, Darryl J de; Roberts, Eric M; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah; Garvin, Heather M; Williams, Scott A; Delezene, Lucas K; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Randolph-Quinney, Patrick; Kivell, Tracy L; Laird, Myra F; Tawane, Gaokgatlhe; DeSilva, Jeremy M; Bailey, Shara E; Brophy, Juliet K; Meyer, Marc R; Skinner, Matthew M; Tocheri, Matthew W; VanSickle, Caroline; Walker, Christopher S; Campbell, Timothy L; Kuhn, Brian; Kruger, Ashley; Tucker, Steven; Gurtov, Alia; Hlophe, Nompumelelo; Hunter, Rick; Morris, Hannah; Peixotto, Becca; Ramalepa, Maropeng; Rooyen, Dirk van; Tsikoane, Mathabela; Boshoff, Pedro; Dirks, Paul HGM; Berger, Lee R
Editors: Perry, George H
Year of Publication: 2017
Journal: eLife
Volume: 6
Pagination: e24232
Date Published: 2017/05/09
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 2050-084X
Keywords: Hominin, Homo naledi, Lesedi Chamber, Paleoanthropology

The Rising Star cave system has produced abundant fossil hominin remains within the Dinaledi Chamber, representing a minimum of 15 individuals attributed to Homo naledi. Further exploration led to the discovery of hominin material, now comprising 131 hominin specimens, within a second chamber, the Lesedi Chamber. The Lesedi Chamber is far separated from the Dinaledi Chamber within the Rising Star cave system, and represents a second depositional context for hominin remains. In each of three collection areas within the Lesedi Chamber, diagnostic skeletal material allows a clear attribution to H. naledi. Both adult and immature material is present. The hominin remains represent at least three individuals based upon duplication of elements, but more individuals are likely present based upon the spatial context. The most significant specimen is the near-complete cranium of a large individual, designated LES1, with an endocranial volume of approximately 610 ml and associated postcranial remains. The Lesedi Chamber skeletal sample extends our knowledge of the morphology and variation of H. naledi, and evidence of H. naledi from both recovery localities shows a consistent pattern of differentiation from other hominin species.