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Tag archives for Rising Star Expedition

The Journey Into Darkness

Lead caver Rick Hunter offers his reflections on the otherworldly journey from daylight to the fossil chamber and back.

Field Trip to Malapa

The excavators and cavers get a day off to explore the nearby site where Lee Berger discovered the first remains of Australopithecus sediba.

Know Your Hominid Skulls

Discover the key features that guide scientists as they work to identify skull pieces recovered on the Rising Star Expedition.

The View From a Caver/Scientist

By Elen Feuerriegel 20th November 2013 The day starts (officially) at 6am. I’m up a little earlier this morning. Crawl out of my sleeping bag and tent to the sight of Lee Berger bounding around. Lee is a Morning Person. Marina has been up since the predawn. Typically, she is the one who organises and…

Video: Taking a Beating for Science

Climbing, squeezing, dragging, and pushing yourself through tiny passages in a cave can take a serious toll on your body. The cavers and scientists of the Rising Star Expedition though are willing to bash and bruise themselves to recover the broken bones of untold numbers of ancient hominids.

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Tent

After a day off, the team is eager to get back in the cave, and the hominids seem just as eager to get out. The fossil count jumps to 400 and the pop culture references ensue.

What We Know and Don’t Know So Far

John Hawks explains why the biggest questions about the site of the new hominid fossil discovery still have no answers, and why that makes this one of the most important stages of research.

Inside the Cradle of Humankind

Taking a break from the stresses and excitement of the excavation, the team took a day to visit two other sites in the Cradle of Humankind.

The Skull Man Arrives

With the skull pieces drying and nearly ready to reassemble, hominid skull expert Darryl de Ruiter arrives on site and reveals secrets of the trade.

Video: Sights and Sounds of a Storm at Camp

While the caver/scientists underground remain blissfully unaware of what’s going on up top, a South African thunderstorm moves in and creates a show of sights and sounds for the rest of the team.

Video: Scientists Recover Ancient Hominid Skull From Cave

After days of collecting only bones that sat on the surface of the cave floor, a team of scientists carefully excavates part of a hominid skull, which could be the key to identifying the species of the many individuals found in the cave.

In the Hot Seat

If you know much about paleoanthropology, you’ve probably heard about how secretive field projects can be. We believe that sharing will make our science better.

Video: The Cavers Behind South Africa’s New Hominid Discovery

Scientists from around the world are camped outside Johannesburg, recovering and studying a cache of ancient hominid fossils. None of them would be there if it weren’t for a couple of local recreational cavers.

100th Fossil Tagged at New Hominid Site

The team reaches a milestone and in the process gains some faint new clues about how their mystery hominid moved in life.

Video: Scientists Examine Skulls to Aid New Fossil Identification

Steve Churchill, post-cranial specialist on the Rising Star Expedition shows off the hominid skull replicas in the Science tent, and explains how the team uses them to help identify the skull pieces emerging from the cave below.