The discovery

The 2013 discovery of Homo naledi made headlines around the world. The fossil assemblage from the Dinaledi Chamber is one of the largest hominin finds in history. It is remarkable for the number of fossils, the quality of preservation, and how many different individuals are represented. These fossils challenge us to take another look at what it means to be human.

The Almost Human exhibit at The Gallery at the Maropeng Visitor Centre will allow you to:

Journey underground through the Rising Star Cave.

Explore the discovery, excavation, and scientific interpretation of Homo naledi.

Meet the family as you come face to face with the original fossils that tell the tale of our common history.

And, understand where Homo naledi fits into the broader human story.

The Rising Star cave system

9 Entrance To The Rising Star Cave System  Cc Wits University
Entrance to the Rising Star cave system (Image: Wits University)

The Rising Star Cave takes its name from a remarkable chamber of star-like stalactite formations. “Stalactites” are formed when calcium carbonate dissolved in water drips from the ceiling of the cave, creating icicle-looking structures.

The Rising Star Cave lies just southwest of well-known sites within the 47,000-hectare Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.