Home Science The oldest known burials today have been found in South Africa.

The oldest known burials today have been found in South Africa.


what is known

Scientists call the found burial tomb the oldest currently known tomb. This includes remains of a distant human relative, Homo naledi.

Researchers led by renowned paleoanthropologist Lee Berger have discovered several examples of remains buried in the “Cradle of Humanity” cave system near Johannesburg. The place where the bones lie is located at a point 30 meters below the ground.

According to the researchers, there were two oval-shaped shallow pits. deliberately dug up and then stuffed to hide the bodies. Ancient tombs contain at least five people.

These are the oldest tombs ever recorded. At least 100,000 years before burial evidence in Homo sapiens,
– scientists have written a number of articles that have not yet been reviewed.

Maybe this is how representatives of Homo naledi looked / Photo: Mark Thiessen

The findings challenge current understanding of human evolution, as only the development of a larger brain is believed to enable complex “meaningful” actions like burying the dead. Homo naledi’s brain was the size of an orange and was about 1.5 meters tall. Although they knew how to make simple tools, they looked more like an ape than a modern human.

The authors add that burial is not the only indication that Homo naledi is capable of complex cognitive behavior. Lines and geometric shapes are carved into the nearby rock walls.

“Our team has published three preprints to date. One of them describes the carved surfaces in the rock walls of the Dinaledi subsystem of the Cradle of Humankind cave system, where we found numerous Homo naledi fossils.”

Engravings on the walls of the cave / Photo: Lee Berger

When the abstract engravings are examined, we see that they were made on specially prepared, polished surfaces. The depth, composition, and order of the lines suggest that they were created deliberately rather than naturally.

This means that humans are not only unique in the development of symbolic practices, but may not have invented such behavior.
– Berger said in an interview that being buried directly under these engravings is proof that this is the cultural site of H. naledi.

However, not everyone shares this point of view. Some experts say there is insufficient evidence to conclude that H. naledi buried or immortalized their dead. To them, the fact that these ancient genres leave marks on the walls does not necessarily indicate abstract thought.

Source: 24 Tv



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