LEE BERGER — CAVE OF BONES — 2023
ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE FREEDOM OF HOMININS
Who is Homo Naledi and what does he/she — of course, he/she, not “it” as Lee Berger often says, since he is part of our genus, hence a close relative of ours — represent in the Homo genus?
Naledi was discovered in the Rising Star cave system in South Africa in 2013. This very complex cave system is the only place where a great number of fossils were found in various chambers of the complex. Naledi was never found outside, but was he/she looked for outside? We do not know what life he/she had outside the caves. When Lee Berger says that Naledi could have had some sexual contact with Homo Sapiens who was starting to evolve close by, he has no proof at all, and it will take some time to be able to get Naledi’s DNA to see if it can be traced in Homo Sapiens’ DNA. So far, we could even consider Naledi is a caveman only living in the complete darkness of the caves as a nocturnal Hominin that would have nocturnal vision. But it is not sure at all since we are going to see that they had fire, and one chamber was used as a cooking area with bones from various small mammal species that live more or less exclusively on the surface of the earth.
The time bracket of its existence is 335,000–235,000 BCE. Homo Sapiens started emerging around 300,000 BCE. The time bracket has been determined only from the dating Lee Berger’s team could get for the caves and the various minerals they could find. That explains that Naledi is seen in his (absolutely no mention of women) period of full development with no indication about where they came from, what phylogenic process governed their emergence, and which or what Hominin, who was present in this area of Southern Africa before the 335,000 BCE date, they descended from. We already have here three questions that will have to be solved later: the DNA of Homo Naledi, the geographical and phylogenic origin of Homo Naledi, and the life pattern they had, like cave living, surface activities, social order, the role of women, contact with other Hominins in the area and time. We can say the research is just starting. But Lee Berger and his team have proved quite a few things. I will accept his remarks and conclusions on the basis that it…