Department of Anthropology University of Wisconsin—Madison USA
Professor John Hawks is a core member of the team that discovered the new species Homo naledi, from the Rising Star cave of South Africa. He has done research in human genetics and fieldwork in Europe, Asia and Africa. Professor Hawks has been a leader in public outreach and the movement toward open science, including his blog, and documentary films.
This talk will give an update on our most recent field seasons in the Rising Star cave system, including the discovery of new skeletal remains of Homo naledi. I’ll also talk about many ongoing lines of research, including the endocast shape, development, and diet. The date of this species, in the later Middle Pleistocene around 236,000-335,000 years ago, creates many new challenges for understanding human origins. The talk will address African diversity, from both a genetic and archaeological point of view, and the context of early Homo sapiens populations across the continent.