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“This is a humbling discovery for science,” said Lee Berger, a paleoanthropologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

“It's reminding us that the fossil record can hide things …

To obtain a truly absolute chronology, corrections must be made, provided by measurements on samples of know age.

The most suitable types of sample for radiocarbon dating are charcoal and well-preserved wood, although leather, cloth, paper, peat, shell and bone can also be used.

This is an informational tour in which students gain a basic understanding of geologic time, the evidence for events in Earth’s history, relative and absolute dating techniques, and the significance of the Geologic Time Scale.The bones are as recent as 236,000 years, meaning Homo naledi roamed Africa at about the time our own species was evolving.And the discovery of a second cave adds to the evidence that primitive Naledi may have performed a surprisingly modern behavior: burying the dead.Should paleoanthropologists shift their focus from East Africa to the continent's less-studied southern regions?Several scientists not involved the Naledi research urged caution about some of Berger's bolder claims, including the suggestion that Naledi was burying its dead and crafting the sophisticated stone tools that characterize southern Africa's “Middle Stone Age.” But they agreed with Berger on this point: Naledi reminds us that human history is even richer than we realized.

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