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“There are no bones from other animals aside from a few rodents.
And there are no marks on the bones from predators or scavengers to suggest they were killed and dragged to the chamber.
So far, parts of at least 15 skeletons representing individuals of all ages have been found and the researchers believe many more fossils remain in the chamber.
was deliberately interring its dead, according to Hawks, a UW-Madison professor of anthropology.
“We now have the biggest discovery in Africa for hominins.” The find was reported today (Sept.
10, 2015) with the publication of two papers in the open access journal e Life by a group led by paleoanthropologist Lee R. With a small head and brain, hunched shoulders, powerful hands and thin limbs, was built for long-distance walking, says Hawks, an expert on early humans. The unmineralized condition of the bones and the geology of the cave have prevented an accurate dating, says Hawks.
“We think it is the first instance of deliberate and ritualized interment,” says Hawks.
“The only plausible scenario is they deliberately put bodies in this place.” The cave, according to Hawks, was likely more accessible to than it is today for modern humans.