Rumble in the caves over Homo naledi 'burial' theory

03 October 2016 - 09:55 By SHAUN SMILLIE

Lichen and cave-dwelling snails are at the centre of an academic dispute about whether our earliest relatives mourned and ritually disposed of their dead. The contenders are academics in the same department at Wits University.On one side is Francis Thackeray, director of the Wits Institute of Human Evolution, who suggests that the black spots found on the fossil remains of Homo naledi are a residue left by lichen.

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day, Financial Mail or Rand Daily Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.