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The largest collection of ancient human bones ever discovered in Africa was excavated from chambers deep within South Africa’s Rising Star cave. In 2013, six women scientists squeezed through the twisting passages of this cave to unearth more than 1,500 fossils representing at least 15 individuals of the newly discovered early human species Homo naledi. In this lecture, paleoanthropologist and Homo naledi study team member Dr. Jeremy DeSilva will discuss what we know about these fossils and how these findings are changing not only science, but how we define “human.”
This event is produced in partnership with the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The Brown Foundation, Inc.
Ann and Gordon Getty
Camilla and George Smith
Jeremy DeSilva is associate professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. He is a paleoanthropologist, specializing in the locomotion of the first apes (hominoids) and early human ancestors (hominins). His recent work has focused on the origins and evolution of upright walking in the human lineage. He is also part of the research team that has discovered and described two new hominin species: Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi. He has studied wild chimpanzees in Western Uganda and early human fossils in museums throughout Eastern and South Africa. From 1998-2003, he worked as an educator at the Boston Museum of Science and continues to be passionate about science education. DeSilva is a Leakey Foundation grantee who received funding for his work on early human locomotion.