Rising Star Expedition

What Can We Learn From Homo naledi’s Skull?

After the excitement of Homo naledi’s discovery and extraction from deep in a narrow cave in South Africa, and the implication that these non-humans may have intentionally carried their dead deep into the earth, we are left with the ...

Homo naledi’s Nike-Ready Foot

After the excitement of Homo naledi’s discovery and extraction from deep in a narrow cave in South Africa, and the implication that these non-humans may have intentionally carried their dead deep into the earth, we are left with the ...

Homo naledi’s Powerful Hand Up Close

After the excitement of Homo naledi’s discovery and extraction from deep in a narrow cave in South Africa, and the implication that these non-humans may have intentionally carried their dead deep into the earth, we are left with the ...

How the Naledi Team Solved a 1,550-Piece Puzzle

The announcement of Homo naledi last week was just the latest phase of a scientific adventure that’s been going on for two years in and around a tiny cave in South Africa. It started in November, 2013, with the three-week ...

Homo naledi: 1,500 Fossils Revolutionize Human Family Tree

Two years after being discovered deep in a South African cave, the 1,500 fossils excavated during the Rising Star Expedition have been identified as belonging to a previously unknown early human relative that National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger and team have ...

Wrapping Up Round Two

By Becca Peixotto Every day at Rising Star is a busy one, but in our free time we’ve been lucky to make some local friends who follow the expedition and this blog.  Thanks for helping us feel welcome in ...

Young Visitor Helps Recover First Top Jaw From the Site

  By Becca Peixotto Today, our fourth day underground, we had a special guest in the command center. Young Stefan from a school here in South Africa got to be a paleoanthropologist for a day and by watching the video monitors ...

What’s New at This Week’s Excavation

By Becca Peixotto At the beginning of the week, Marina Elliott, Lee Berger, Peter Schmidt, and I sat in Lee’s office at Wits University studying photos from last November of the area of high density of fossils we call ...

A Critical Piece of the Hominin Puzzle

By John Hawks This week, a small targeted excavation is underway at Rising Star, involving some of the original core team of excavators — Marina Elliott and Becca Peixotto, and cavers Pedro Boschoff, Rick Hunter and Steven Tucker, along with key ...

A Critical Piece of the Hominin Puzzle

By John Hawks This week, a small targeted excavation is underway at Rising Star, involving some of the original core team of excavators — Marina Elliott and Becca Peixotto, and cavers Pedro Boschoff, Rick Hunter and Steven Tucker, along with key ...

Scientists Return to Explore a Second Fossil Chamber

Paleoanthropologist and science blogger John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has just returned to South Africa with NG Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand and others to continue work on the hominin discoveries of the Rising ...

Scientists Return to Explore a Second Fossil Chamber

Paleoanthropologist and science blogger John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has just returned to South Africa with NG Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand and others to continue work on the hominin discoveries of the Rising ...

Call for Scientists to Join Rising Star Workshop 2014

Unearthing more than 1200 early hominin fossil elements in November 2013, the Rising Star Expedition produced more material than one scientist or traditional paleoanthropological team could process in several years. That inspired project leader Lee Berger and his collaborators come up with ...

Call for Scientists to Join Rising Star Workshop 2014

Unearthing more than 1200 early hominin fossil elements in November 2013, the Rising Star Expedition produced more material than one scientist or traditional paleoanthropological team could process in several years. That inspired project leader Lee Berger and his collaborators come up with ...