The age of Homo naledi and associated sediments in the Rising Star Cave, South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Dirks, P.H.G.M.
dc.contributor.author Roberts, E.M.
dc.contributor.author Hilbert-Wolf, H.
dc.contributor.author Kramers, J.D.
dc.contributor.author Hawks, J.
dc.contributor.author Dosseto, A.
dc.contributor.author Duval, M.
dc.contributor.author Elliott, M.
dc.contributor.author Evans, M.
dc.contributor.author Grün, R.
dc.contributor.author Hellstrom, J.
dc.contributor.author Herries, A.I.R.
dc.contributor.author Joannes-Boyau, R.
dc.contributor.author Makhubela, T.V.
dc.contributor.author Placzek, C.J.
dc.contributor.author Robbins, J.
dc.contributor.author Spandler, C.
dc.contributor.author Wiersma, J.
dc.contributor.author Woodhead, J.
dc.contributor.author Berger, L.R.
dc.date.accessioned 2017-05-10T09:37:59Z
dc.date.available 2017-05-10T09:37:59Z
dc.date.issued 2017-05
dc.identifier.citation Dirks, P.H.G.M. et al. 2017. The age of Homo naledi and associated sediments in the Rising Star Cave, South Africa. eLife 6: Article number e24231. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2050-084X
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/22475
dc.description.abstract New ages for flowstone, sediments and fossil bones from the Dinaledi Chamber are presented. We combined optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments with U-Th and palaeomagnetic analyses of flowstones to establish that all sediments containing Homo naledi fossils can be allocated to a single stratigraphic entity (sub-unit 3b), interpreted to be deposited between 236 ka and 414 ka. This result has been confirmed independently by dating three H. naledi teeth with combined U-series and electron spin resonance (US-ESR) dating. Two dating scenarios for the fossils were tested by varying the assumed levels of 222Rn loss in the encasing sediments: a maximum age scenario provides an average age for the two least altered fossil teeth of 253 +82/–70 ka, whilst a minimum age scenario yields an average age of 200 +70/–61 ka. We consider the maximum age scenario to more closely reflect conditions in the cave, and therefore, the true age of the fossils. By combining the US-ESR maximum age estimate obtained from the teeth, with the U-Th age for the oldest flowstone overlying Homo naledi fossils, we have constrained the depositional age of Homo naledi to a period between 236 ka and 335 ka. These age results demonstrate that a morphologically primitive hominin, Homo naledi, survived into the later parts of the Pleistocene in Africa, and indicate a much younger age for the Homo naledi fossils than have previously been hypothesized based on their morphology. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher eLife Sciences Publications Ltd en_ZA
dc.rights © 2017. Dirks et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited. en_ZA
dc.subject Homo naledi en_ZA
dc.subject Rising Star cave en_ZA
dc.subject SOUTH AFRICA en_ZA
dc.subject age en_ZA
dc.subject sediments en_ZA
dc.subject Dinaledi Chamber en_ZA
dc.subject dating en_ZA
dc.subject flowstone en_ZA
dc.subject fossils en_ZA
dc.title The age of Homo naledi and associated sediments in the Rising Star Cave, South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA
dc.journal.volume 6 en_ZA
dc.journal.title eLife en_ZA
dc.description.librarian SP2017 en_ZA
dc.citation.doi 10.7554/eLife.24231.001 en_ZA


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