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Trace Our Human Origins with Paleoanthropologist Lee Berger

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Distinguished explorer and paleoanthropologist Lee Berger has made incredible discoveries in the search for human ancestors. Many of those discoveries are now at the heart of the latest free online course available at World Science U. All students who share Lee Berger’s curiosity about the origin of humans are now invited to follow along on his expeditions in the new Master Class, “Exploring Our Humanity.” Register now.

In 2008, explorer and paleoanthropologist Lee Berger and his then-nine-year-old son Matthew uncovered the fossilized remains of a previously unknown species of hominin. He named the finding Australopithecus sediba. This discovery greatly impacted our understanding of the variation of early hominids. It was a pivotal contribution to the study of the origin of human beings.

Last year, Berger announced that his team had made an additional incredible discovery in the Rising Star cave system back in 2013. His team found thousands of fossilized remains, which belonged to a brand new hominin species that he named Homo naledi.

What’s incredible about this species is that there appears to be only one explanation for how these individuals ended up in the Dinaledi chamber where they were discovered — they were placed there upon death in ritualistic burial. The finding opens up many questions. This kind of behavior was not thought to have been performed by species this old. Berger explores that mystery and more in his Master Class, “Exploring Our Humanity.”


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