Hopefully at this point in time you have seen our interview with Prof. Dr. Lee Berger (if you have not please do so now) and noticed there were some audio issues with our interview. In order to mitigate that, and to provide more in depth information I am going to write up this companion article to explain not only what is going on in the interview, but to delve deeper into the information provided.
Read this while you watch, before or after either way it will make your interview watching experience that much better! So please use this guide as your resource, and make the interview that much more enjoyable.
You can find the interview here.
To start off the interview, Lee introduces himself, and we begin to discuss fossil sites that he is currently working on and things that are going on in that realm of his work.
We discuss the building and near completion of the new Malapa Museum which will hold discoveries from various localities including Gladysvale and all of the Malapa Hominins.
From there we discuss the Rising Star site, and the work that is going on there. specifically the augmented reality tour.
Then we learned more about some National Geographic expeditions over ten last few years, discovering 600 new cave sites, 200 new fossil sites, FOUR NEW HOMINID SITES AND 6 NEW HOMO NALEDI LOCALITIES!
You read that right! All those new locations and especially and most specially the 6 new H. naledi localities. Lee did not go into detail about what these new sites or localities reveal, but there are just so many possibilities its just an endless enigma. We will have to pay attention and look forward to these announcements coming from Lee and his team.
What has been confirmed, but we know little about, is that these new naledi discoveries give credence tot he deliberate ritualized body disposal of H,naledi, Lee would not go into detail so we do not know much, but when pushed on the subject he did admit there was more evidence to support this theory.
Going back to Rising Star, the team has discovered a new chamber, the Hill Anti-chamber where more discoveries have been made. There was going to be a new expedition to Malapa starting this month, but due to COVID19 it was cancelled.
Getting into the more genetic side of things we began talking about ancient DNA, the likelihood of finding naledi DNA or proteins from sediba. As it turns out we actually have a good chance of getting information from both of these sources.
With modern technology we are going to be able to better date and test the proteins found in the sediba fossils, and ongoing DNA studies are going on with the Homo naledi fossils, although delayed again due to the pandemic.
Nest we go on to discussing the idea of “there was no first for anything”, no first tool maker, no first fire maker, no first this or that. There was no “ah-ha” transitionary moment. We even discuss the idea that all hominids have been tool makers, and that not just Homo habilis was the first.
Are sediba and naledi going on more tours around the world? Well that remains to be seen, as this pandemic continues it is not known what will be safe for these invaluable objects, so only time will tell, but there were plans to send these guys to other places around the world to show them off.
And that about does it for our interview! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, it was an amazing experience and I am so thankful to Dr. Berger for participating in this interview. I look forward to many more in the future.