Something else that I learned was figuring out what side of the body the bone belongs to. In the class the first bone that was found was an ulna (the bone in the forearm that is on the side of the pinky), and we had to identify which side it came from. Below is a picture of an ulna. I have labeled the key to figuring out if it is on the right or left arm. The radial notch (which the radius attaches to) is on the right side of the ulna if it is the left ulna, and it is on the left side if it belongs to the right side. Then, of course, picture below is the left ulna. Next to it an an example of how the radius and ulna connect. Any to guess which side that ulna belongs to? That is pretty much what I took away from the first week. But I am sure that week two will have more flesh on it, or preferably lack of it.
It is lucky that such a big sample size was found, because if they only found one with those traits, it would be thought of as a hoax. And with this completely new Homo, it as been met, unusually, without much controversy. Something else that makes it even more amazing is the reason they could find such a big sample size. It is theorized, that the Homo naledi deliberately buried their dead; much like we do in modern days. “So they are not only secreting these bodies away to an area where nothing could get to them, they were taking risks in doing that. Only humans do that.” Homo naledi was thousands of years ahead of the Egyptian's. That is the first thing that came into my mind when I read “where nothing could get to them.” These bone were found in a cave, with limited room. Now we have seen this before, but the usual explanation for burial is that there was flood. Not in this case though. In those cases there are usually other animal bones with them or sand and sediments; none of that was in the cave where Homo naledi was found.
If we are finding more Homo's in our time, it is exciting to think how many forms of Homo have evolved throughout the ages. What is more, can you imagine what it must have felt like to see this, any Homo that has not been seen in thousands, sometimes millions of years, for the first time since then. And for Homo naledi it is suggested that “So if our present understanding of the time frame of the genus Homo is right, then naledi must be somewhere older than 2 million years as a species, in its origins. That doesn’t mean the population we found is that old.” How exciting is that? Homo sapiens may have interacted with them. Maybe we bred with them as well; as I stated early the wrist, palm, legs, and arms are all similar to us.
Please feel free to comment on what you thought of the blog, or other physical anthropological subjects you would like me to cover.