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Professor Lee Berger, from the University of the Witwatersrand, holds a replica of the discovered Homo Naledi fossil inside the Rising Star Cave in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site near Johannesburg, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. Homo naledi is a species of archaic human discovered in the Rising Star Cave, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa dating to the Middle Pleistocene 335,000–236,000 years ago. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)


We are proud to announce that our Malapa Museum was the venue for the recent global announcement by Professor Lee Berger and his team of the discovery, in the Cradle of Humankind, of a partial skull and teeth of a Homo naledi child who died almost 250 000 years ago. The skull, that of a child believed to be between four and six years old with both baby and adult teeth erupting, has been named “Letimela” or “Leti” meaning “the lost one” in Setswana.

The team’s findings were published in two separate academic papers that appeared in the Open Access journal, PaleoAnthropology.


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