Remains of an ancient species named the Homo Neledi was recently discovered inside the Rising Star Cave in remote South Africa, providing a great deal of insight into the burial practices that the Homo Neledi may have participated in. Behavioural patterns studied in animals show that they have an instinctive behaviour towards the treatment of their dead, making it a high possibility that the Homo Neledi treated their dead in a ritualised way. Source A shows evidence that the Homo Neledi placed the bodies deliberately into the cave over a number of years. Source B is a diagram of the Rising Star Cave that gives us a look into how difficult it would have been for any species to place their dead inside. The sources provided show evidence that the Homo Neledi may have been practicing burial rituals of some form for their dead.
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The remains were found in the Dinaledi Chamber located in the back of the Rising Star Cave, in order to reach this chamber, you must pass two excruciating tight passages, the Superman’s Crawl which is less than ten inches high as shown on the diagram in source B and then a 40-foot vertical drop passage that is only eight inches wide in certain places. This evidence shows that in order to place bodies in the chamber, it would have required a large amount of effort which would have been unnecessary if the Homo Neledi were only looking for a place to just put their deceased. This reveals that the Homo Neledi may have been using the Rising Star Cave to carry out burial practices for their dead.
Many animal species have certain behavioural patterns when dealing with death within their group, an example of this are the Neanderthals who almost certainly buried their dead, other hominins have been known to have treated their dead in a ritualised way. Burial and other funeral behaviours are also common in crowded colonies and groups in order to maintain hygiene, the Rising Star Cave where the remains were located may have just been a selected disposal site for their dead. This suggests that the Homo Neledi were participating in some sort of burial ritual for their dead, placing them in the cave for unknown purposes.
The fifteen remains that were found in the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star Cave could have only been placed there deliberately placed there due to the tight passages that made it very difficult to access. The bones showed no signs of predatory attacks and were found in a position that they would have had in life, ruling out the possibility that a nimble-feet creature dragged the remains into the chamber. Source A and B both provide substantial evidence that suggests that the Homo Neledi practiced burial rituals for their dead, behaviours that are common for other human ancestors and animal species.