2017 Speaker Series wraps up Thurs­day

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Sub­mit­ted The Drumheller Mail sub­mit­ted

The fi­nal s es­sion of t he 2017 Roy al T yrrell M useum’s Speaker S eries will t ake place on April 27. Dr. Er ic Roberts, As­soc iate Pr ofes­sor and t he Head of Geo­sciences, J ames Cook U niver­sity, Q ueens­land, A us­tralia, will present “Dis­cov­ery, Ge­o­log­i­cal Con­text and Chal­lenges of Dat­ing a New Ho­minin, H omo nale di, from t he R ising St ar C ave, South Africa.”

The dis cov­ery of H omo naledi, a ne w sp ecies of ho­minin (the group en­com­pass­ing mod­ern hu­mans , ex­tinct hu­man sp ecies, and all clo se hu­man an­ces­tors) was an­nounced in Septem­ber 2015. Found in a de ep, ne arly inac ces­si­ble cave s ys­tem, t his w as t he largest c on­cen­tra­tion of ho­minin b ones e ver f ound in Af rica. The un usual dis - tri­b­u­tion of b ones sugge sted sym­bolic be­hav­iour (e.g., de­lib­er­ate plac ement by other H. naledi).

The find a ttracted glob al me­dia a tten­tion, in­clud­ing a f ea­ture in N ational G eo­graphic. This dis cov­ery had such an im pact t hat it w as eas­ily iden ti­fied a s one of the t op 10 s cience dis cov­er­ies of 2015 by n umer­ous news out­lets. The de posits, how­ever, r emain unda ted, leav­ing t heir e vo­lu­tion­ary sig­nif­i­cance unc er­tain – were t hey a dir ect h uman an­ces­tor or anot her branch on the fam­ily tree?

In his t alk, Dr . Rob erts will pr es­ent an over view of t he dis cov­ery of t he sit e and dis­cuss the ef­forts that went in to unra vel­ling t he com­plex ge olog­i­cal c on­text of the c ave s ys­tem. He w ill fin­ish w ith an over view of his team’s ef­forts and pr ogress over t he last two ye ars at dat­ing the fos­sils and r efin­ing our un­der­stand­ing of this im por­tant ne w ho­minin lo­cal­ity.

The Roy al T yrrell M useum’s Sp eaker S eries t alks are f ree and op en t o t he Dr. Eric Roberts, As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor and the Head of Geo­sciences, James Cook Uni­ver­sity, Queens­land, Aus­tralia, will present “Dis­cov­ery, Ge­o­log­i­cal Con­text and Chal­lenges of Dat­ing a New Ho­minin, Homo naledi, from the Ris­ing Star Cave, South Africa” at the fi­nal Speaker Series of the sea­son. pub­lic.

The s eries w ill c on­clude with t his pr es­en­ta­tion on April 27 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mu­seum’s a udi­to­rium. Pa st Speaker Series talks are also avail­able on t he M useum’s YouTube channe l: yout ube. com/user/Roy­alTyrrel­lMu­seum

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