Scientists have discovered a new human-like species in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa.
The discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa.
The researchers claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors.
The studies which have been published in the journal Elife also indicate that these individuals were capable of ritual behaviour.
The species, which has been named naledi, has been classified in the grouping, or genus,Homo, to which modern humans belong.
The researchers who made the find have not been able to find out how long ago these creatures lived – but the scientist who led the team, Prof Lee Berger, told BBC News that he believed they could be among the first of our kind (genus Homo) and could have lived in Africa up to three million years ago.
via BBC Africa
Images | John Hawkes, Peter Schmid