Hominid remains lecture in Statesboro, February 12th

Submitted by Sammy Smith (sammy@thesga.org)

Paleoanthropologist Lee Berger, a 1990 graduate of Georgia Southern University, is returning to his alma mater to share the story of his journey from SGA past-President Dr. Sue Moore’s classroom on the Statesboro campus to the wilds of South Africa, where he has found fossils that are causing paleoanthropologists to rewrite the story of our deep hominid past.

Notes a GSU.edu article on Berger’s upcoming presentation:

Berger will present From Georgia Southern to Africa—The Pathway to the Discovery of the Most Complete Early Humans in History at Georgia Southern University’s Carol A. Carter Recital Hall in the Foy Building on Saturday, February 12, 2011, at 6:30 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

Georgia Southern Online Magazine skull Berger found

The Georgia Southern Online Magazine reports:

Berger, the senior research officer and a professor of paleoanthropology at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand, his son Matthew, and post-doctoral student Job Kibii were exploring a cave when they unearthed the fossilized bones of two individuals: a woman and a child. Both have skeletal features that place them squarely in the gap between early and modern humans, exhibiting some traits of each.

“Both of the skeletons we would eventually find are the most complete early human ancestral skeletons ever discovered,” Berger said, adding that both individuals have some traits of modern humans: small teeth, a projecting nose, an advanced pelvis and long legs. However, their long arms and small brain cases link them to older finds.

The online story continues:

His recent and most stunning discovery, Australopithecus sediba, began quietly as a review of the terrain in an area known as the Cradle of Humankind in northeastern South Africa.

“It started with an exploratory project that I undertook,” said Berger, “and it’s funny that the project dates back more than a decade and a half where I first started to explore the region around the Cradle of Humankind, just outside of Johannesburg, looking for new fossil sites and trying to use aerial maps and satellite imagery.

To hear more, attend Berger’s free presentation in Statesboro on February 12th. For more information, email SGA Board Member Matt Newberry here.

Where to find it