Earth’s oldest burial ground was not built by humans

Paleontologists have discovered what may be the oldest burial site on earth in South Africa, Agence France-Presse reported. This includes the remains of distant relatives of humans with extremely small brains, previously thought to be incapable of developing complex behaviors.

In June, a team of scientists announced the discovery of several members of the Stone Age tree-climbing hominin Homo naledi. It is noted that his body was discovered 30 meters underground in a cave system in the UNESCO Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Johannesburg. Scientists point out that this is the oldest burial in human history, predating the first burial of Homo sapiens by 100,000 years. The researchers’ findings cast doubt on our current understanding of human evolution, as the development of larger brains is thought to enable complex tasks such as burying the dead. Scientists say they discovered a hole that was intentionally dug and filled to hide the body of the deceased during burial. A total of about 5 people were resting there. These findings suggest that mortuary practices were not limited to Homo sapiens and other large-brained hominids. In addition, the complex behavior of H. Naledi is also indicated by the presence of designs of geometric shapes, indicating that humans are not only not the only ones in the development of symbolic practices, but also that they were invented by him. It also suggests that it is not what was done.