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Did Homo naledi bury its dead? Debate rages over human relative

Studies earlier this year claimed that the extinct hominin Homo naledi buried its dead and produced rock art, but other researchers say the evidence is “non-existent”

By Michael Marshall

23 November 2023

Homo naledi coexisted with Homo sapiens, but had a smaller brain


The much-publicised claim that a species of small-brained ancient human buried its dead and produced rock art is completely unfounded, according to a group of researchers.

“The evidence for burial and rock art is non-existent,” says Michael Petraglia at Griffith University in Nathan, Australia.

However, the researchers behind the original claim say they are hard at work gathering more evidence to build their case. They also contend that their studies are caught up in a wider debate over how scientific…

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