Connect with us

Ancient

Homo Naledi, Newly Discovered Species

In 2017, geologists demonstrated that this species, Homo naledi, existed in southern Africa between 236,000 and 335,000 years ago–potentially the same time that modern humans first emerged in Africa. This is a puzzle to scientists, who long held that there was only one species in Africa at this late time period – Homo sapiens. How did this species exist alongside others with brains three times its size? The new study suggests that naledi’s behavior may have reflected the shape and structure of the brain more than its size.

The small brains of Homo naledi raise new questions about the evolution of human brain size. Big brains were costly to human ancestors, and some species may have paid the costs with richer diets, hunting and gathering, and longer childhoods. But that scenario doesn’t seem to work well for Homo naledi, which had hands well-suited for toolmaking, long legs, humanlike feet, and teeth suggesting a high-quality diet. According to study coauthor John Hawks, “Naledi’s brain seems like one you might predict for Homo habilis, two million years ago. But habilis didn’t have such a tiny brain–naledi did.”

Homo naledi may have had a pint-sized brain, but that brain packed a big punch. New research by Ralph Holloway and colleagues – that include researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa – published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines the imprints of the brain upon the skulls of this species, called endocasts. The research highlights the humanlike shape of naledi’s tiny brain, surprising scientists who studied the fossils. These findings draw further into question the long-held belief that human evolution was an inevitable march towards bigger, more complex brains.

 

SWNS_BRAIN_SIZES_01The discovery of Homo naledi by Professor Lee Berger of Wits University and his team at the Rising Star caves in the Cradle of Human Kind in 2013 was one of the largest hominin discoveries ever made and hailed as one of the most significant hominid discoveries of the 21st Century. Berger and Professor John Hawkes who was also part of the original Rising Star team who made the naledi discovery, as well as Professor Heather Garvin from Des Moines University in the US, are associated with the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI), based at Wits University.

The researchers pieced together traces of Homo naledi’s brain shape from an extraordinary collection of skull fragments and partial crania, from at least five adult individuals. One of these bore a very clear imprint of the convolutions on the surface of the brain’s left frontal lobe. “This is the skull I’ve been waiting for my whole career,” said lead author Ralph Holloway, of Columbia University.

The anatomy of naledi’s frontal lobe was similar to humans, and very different from great apes. Naledi wasn’t alone. Other members of our genus, from Homo erectus to Homo habilis and the small-brained “hobbits”, Homo floresiensis, also share features of the frontal lobe with living humans. But earlier human relatives, like Australopithecus africanus, had a much more apelike shape in this part of the brain, suggesting that functional changes in this brain region emerged with Homo. “It’s too soon to speculate about language or communication in Homo naledi,” said coauthor Shawn Hurst, “but today human language relies upon this brain region.”

The back of the brain also showed humanlike changes in naledi compared to more primitive hominins like Australopithecus. Human brains are usually asymmetrical, with the left brain displaced forward relative to the right. The team found signs of this asymmetry in one of the most complete naledi skull fragments. They also found hints that the visual area of the brain, in the back of the cortex, was relatively smaller in naledi than in chimpanzees–another humanlike trait.

A humanlike brain organisation might mean that naledi shared some behaviours with humans despite having a much smaller brain size. Lee Berger, a co-author on the paper, suggests that the recognition of naledi’s small but complex brain will also have a significant impact on the study of African archaeology. “Archaeologists have been too quick to assume that complex stone tool industries were made by modern humans. With naledi being found in southern Africa, at the same time and place that the Middle Stone Age industry emerged, maybe we’ve had the story wrong the whole time.”

Source: The Daily Galaxy

Advertisement
Comments

Ancient

Archaeologists amazed to find a 2100 years old phone like object

A group of archaeologists has found a strange black rectangular object next to the skeleton of a woman in a grave at the excavation site of Ala-Tey, in the mountainous Republic of Tuvá (Russia). The 2100 years old phone like device amazed the Archaeologists.

2100 years old phone

The researchers nicknamed “Natasha” to the ancestral woman, while the mysterious object that accompanied her was called “iPhone” because of her resemblance to Apple’s product. The 2100 years old phone like device has holes in the top and bottom just like the modern device.

However, and far from being an oopart, the object is actually a belt buckle more than 2,100 years old, unearthed in a tomb in the so-called «Russian Atlantis», the name given to a mountainous region in Siberia, already It is covered with water and only appears for a few weeks a year.

Pavel Leus, one of the archaeologists who participate in the excavations, explained that the team has been carrying out expeditions to the Ala-Tey burial site for several years. Leus added that the finding of that interesting 2100 years old phone like device was made in 2016, but the results have been made public only now.

“The burial of” Natasha “with an” iPhone “of the Xiongnu era remains one of the most interesting in this burial site,” said the expert.

The buckle, 18 by 9 centimeters, is made of precious stones inlaid with turquoise, carnelian, and mother of pearl, and is decorated with Chinese Wu Zhu coins. These coins have helped scientists date the object 2,137 years ago when they were minted.

Source: The Siberian Times

Continue Reading

Ancient

Just Myths? | Enoch, Great Pyramid of Egypt, and the Anunnaki Civilization Saga?

Since the dawn of man, the time has been his ruthless enemy. There was nothing man could do to escape his earthly demise.

But the pyramids towering over man and his creations fear no time.

Much has been said about the origins of these mysterious structures, so much that the truth has been concealed within piles of false assumptions.

But an archaic figure has cracked the riddle of both time and pyramid.

His name is Enoch – the man who cheated death to go rule over the otherworldly kingdom of a higher force.

Before departing for these higher beings, Enoch had left a luxuriant cultural heritage for the generations to come.

He wished for them to solve the riddle of time, just like him, so he concealed the answers within his teachings, and within the greatest architectural mystery of present-day – The Great Pyramid of Egypt.

Sumerian and Mayan accounts remind of Enoch as the one who conquered time and who encoded this secret within the time-defying pyramids – his masterpiece.

It is now up to YOU to decipher this timeworn knowledge and garner its unimaginable benefits.

Anunnaki is believed to be a group of deities in several ancient Mesopotamian cultures such as the Babylonian, Sumerian, Assyrian, and Akkadian.

The name Anunnaki is a derivative of the names heaven “Anu”, and earth “Ki”. However, some groups translate them as “princely offspring” or “Those of Royal Blood”.

The Sumerian legends and the ancient texts use the word Annunaki to refer to a group of gods who came from heaven.

They were considered as the main gods of the Sumerian pantheon. The Sumerians worshipped these gods long before the great pantheon of ancient Greece and before the ancient Egyptian gods.

The Anunnaki descended from An, the supreme being that reigned over all the Sumerian gods.

The Babylonian myths of creation say there were 300 Anunnaki who kept the heavens and 300 others who guarded the underworld.

These deities were so important that they were also mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

The development of Sumerian civilization occurred in the Persian Gulf while growing to strength over time.

The “Plain of the Land of Shinar” is the territory that was renamed to Babylon after 2000 B.C.

These people lived in the Middle East on the territory we know as Iran and Iraq today.

Source: Matrix World Disclosure

Continue Reading

Ancient

Revealed Photos Show Something Huge May be Hidden in Ancient Egypt

A recent discovery at a notable ancient Egyptian site, which for some reason, is yet to be shared with the public or reported in the headlines. It’s from the ancient Egyptians.

Continue Reading

Trending