This three-week mission is now drawing to a close, but the magnitude of the early hominid discovery on the Rising Star Expedition means this story is far from over. See how the saga will continue.
Discover the key features that guide scientists as they work to identify skull pieces recovered on the Rising Star Expedition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The team reaches a milestone and in the process gains some faint new clues about how their mystery hominid moved in life.
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.
As the Rising Star Expedition team in South Africa works to excavate an ancient hominid cranium, they’re forced to stop by the unlikely complication that there are too many other bones around it.
Within 24 hours of beginning their fossil recovery, scientists on the Rising Star Expedition discover that the cave contains more than one individual.
On the very first day of entering the fossil chamber 30 meters below ground, a team of archaeologists recovers a fossil that paves the way for many new discoveries.
After a day and a half of pulling out fossils from a cave in South Africa, an international team of cavers and scientists realizes they have one of the rarest of finds: multiple ancient hominids.
Archaeologists in South Africa descend into the deepest part of a cave containing newly discovered early hominid fossils in one of the most technically challenging and hi-tech paleoanthropological expeditions yet.
“We have a mandible. We’ve seen the skull. And there are more bones. Lots of them.” NG Explorer Lee Berger’s expedition in South Africa reveals a find for the ages: an early hominid with skull and bones together.
National Geographic Explorer Lee Berger calls his team of archaeologists “underground astronauts.” Watch this video and you can see why.
NG Explorer Lee Berger introduces his latest expedition, an exploration deep inside a landscape that has been home and tomb to humans and our ancestors for thousands of millennia.
As the camp gets set up, the caver/scientists get geared up, and I get psyched up, seeing hints of early hominids in the everyday things we do.
Excitement builds at the Rising Star Expedition in South Africa, where caver/scientists are preparing to excavate an exciting new find of early human ancestor fossils.
An international team of researchers will in the next few days begin excavations on a new site that may contain evidence of early human fossil remains in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (COHWHS), some 40km north Johannesburg.
The Google Doodle for October 22, 2013 celebrates the 216th anniversary of the first parachute jump. Learn about it as well as the most phenomenal jump to date: Felix Baumgartner’s 2012 jump from 24 miles above Earth’s surface.
Author Tony Horwitz explores the fascinating world of first contact between the two branches of the human family who were reunited on October 12, 1492.
Searching a lagoon for rare marine life, a team of Nat Geo divers looked up to witness the strange effects of raindrops hitting the ocean surface, as seen from underneath.