More fossils to be recovered from 'Chamber of Stars'

Yesterday scientists revealed a new species, Homo naledi, in Maropeng.

The fossils were discovered in the Dinaledi Chamber, a remote underground room in the Rising Star caves in the Cradle of Humankind. Picture: Supplied.

MAROPENG - With the big reveal behind them, scientists will now continue to recover fossils from the 'Chamber of Stars' at the Cradle of Humankind and study the newest human relative, Homo naledi.

The chamber may still give up hundreds if not thousands of fossil fragments in what has been described as the richest deposit of fossils ever found on the African continent.

If the chamber was used by Homo naledi to discard of its dead, as scientists behind the discovery argue, it shakes up theories about the ' birth of consciousness'.

Expedition leader Professor Lee Berger, says scientists are great at solving problems, and now there is one lying in front of them.

"Contrary to what many people believe, bones do not speak for themselves. It requires extraordinary minds to study them."

Key questions include how long ago Homo naledi roamed the earth and whether they had the ability, the brain power, to contemplate their mortality or command fire needed to navigate the caves.

WATCH: The Homo naledi species which was unveiled to the world in Maropeng on Thursday, has opened a door to a new debate on what makes humans unique.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says scientists will argue but the discovery should be celebrated.

"We said that this would become an iconic place, it would become a place of pilgrimage, the place where our collective umbilical cord was buried."

Until now, one of the main things that set humans apart from animals were burial rituals

Read EWN's feature on Homo naledi here.