A reconstruction of Homo naledi. | Cicero Moraes et al./Wikimedia Commons

This Human Relative May Have Lived Alongside Our Species in Africa

A newly found, small-brained human relative might have shared the African landscape with modern humans and probably other hominids between 226,000 and 335,000 years ago.

May 9, 2017
7:50 AM EDT
Map of the Rising Star Cave System. | Marina Elliott/Wits University
Geologist Hannah Hilbert-Wolf studying difficult-to-reach flowstones in a small side passage in the Dinaledi Chamber. | Wits University
“Neo” skull of Homo naledi, frontal view. | John Hawks, Wits University
“Lucy,” the 3.2-million-year-old skeleton of the hominid Australopithecus afarensis (left) and “Neo,” a skeleton of Homo naledi (right) that was dated as being roughly 250,000 years old. | John Hawks, Wits University
Homo naledi was very different from archaic humans that lived around the same time. Kabwe skull from Zambia, an archaic human (left) and ''Neo'' skull of Homo naledi (right). | John Hawks/Wits University
Landscape surrounding the Rising Star Cave system. | Marina Elliott/Wits University