Connect with us

Culture

Scientists discover world’s oldest burial site in South Africa

Published

on

Scientists in South Africa say they have discovered the oldest-known burial site in the world “containing remains of a small-brained distant relative of humans previously thought incapable of complex behaviour,” world-renowned palaeoanthropologist, Lee Berger, who led the team of researchers, said on Monday.

The find was announced by the University of the Witwatersrand, the National Geographic Society and the South African National Research Foundation, and published in the journal, eLife.

It challenges the understanding of human evolution which is normally held that the development of bigger brains allowed for the performing of complex functions.

Berger said the research team uncovered evidence that “members of a mysterious archaic human species buried their dead and carved symbols on cave walls long before the earliest evidence of burials by modern humans.”

“The brains belonging to the extinct species, known as Homo naledi, were around one-third the size of a modern human brain,” he said in a statement while announcing the result of the discovery.

“These revelations could change the understanding of human evolution, because until now, such behaviors only have been associated with larger-brained Homo sapiens and Neanderthals,” he added.

According to the palaeoanthropologist, the team discovered several specimens of Homo naledi, a tree-climbing, Stone Age hominid, buried about 30 metres (100 feet) underground in a cave system within the Cradle of Humankind located in Johannesburg, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“These are the most ancient interments yet recorded in the hominin record, earlier than evidence of Homo sapiens interments by at least 100,000 years,” Berger wrote.

Before the discovery, the oldest burials previously unearthed were found in the Middle East which contained the remains of Homo sapiens and were around 100,000 years old.

But the South African find reportedly dates back to at least 200,000 BC.

“These discoveries show that mortuary practices were not limited to H. sapiens or other hominins with large brain sizes,” Berger said.

Culture

Court jails Malian prof for criticizing military junta in new book

Published

on

A court sitting in Bamako, Mali, has sentenced a Professor of Economics, Etienne Fakaba Sissoko, to two years in prison, with one year suspended, for criticizing the military junta in a newly published book.

Sissoko’s lawyer, Ibrahim Marhouf Sacko, who announced the verdict of the court in a statement, however, said the legal team plans to appeal the conviction of the renowned economist.

“We are not surprised, even if we said we had faith in the justice system,” Sacko said in a video released on social media

Sissoko, a professor at the University of Bamako, was arraigned on charges of “harming the state’s reputation, defamation, propaganda, agitation and harassment, and spreading misinformation for his 2023 book on government communication during Mali’s transition.”

The “transition” refers to the period the army leaders said they needed to stabilize the country before returning power to civilian rule. They have already missed their first March 2024 deadline and no new date has been set.

Local media reports that the book details the government’s “aggressive” use of “propaganda, agitation, manipulation and even lies” to win over public opinion.

An online review of the book notes that it critically examines the military government’s use of what it terms propaganda, manipulation and even lies to influence public opinion, particularly during the promised transition period leading back to civilian rule.

“But the junta missed their initial deadline of March 2024 for a return to democracy, with no new date set,” the online review said, with Sissoko arguing that his work contained factual evidence and expert analysis.

This is not however, not Sissoko’s first run-in with the authorities. In 2022, the Professor, formerly an advisor to the ousted president, spent months in jail for criticizing the government’s stance on Christmas celebrations and questioning the validity of his academic credentials.

But Sissoko’s lawyer suggests the real trigger for his recent imprisonment was his public commentary on the economic impact of sanctions imposed on Mali by neighbouring West African nations.

Continue Reading

Culture

One-year-old Ghanaian breaks GWR as world’s youngest artist

Published

on

A one-year-old Ghanaian, Ace Liam, has broken a Guinness World Record as the youngest male artist.

The infant’s groundbreaking achievement was which was announced by the GWR board at a press conference, revealed that his “journey to the record books began with an ambitious attempt to mimic his mother’s daily activities in her art studio.”

A statement from the GWR said the feat of the child has further showcased the potential young children possess when given the opportunity to explore their abilities.

Guinness World Records recognized Ace Liam following his exhibition in Accra from January 18 to 20, 2024, breaking the 31-year-old record held by Dante Lamb, who achieved the milestone at age three in 2003.

His mother, Chantelle Eghan, also shared her experience with her son, stating:

“He paints when he sees me painting. If I have my setup, he’ll pull his chair and easily come and sit beside me.”

She also described how, even as a six-month-old, Ace began blending and spreading paint on a canvas, and by 11 months, he was intuitively using a paintbrush.

Ghanaian artist, Amarkine Amateifio, while reacting to Ace’s achievement, called on parents across Ghana and Africa to nurture their children’s talents from a young age, highlighting the impact this can have on their future success.

“All children are like that. They come into the world as artists, scientists, and engineers. It is we, the adults, who stop them from maintaining this,” Amateifio said.

“I’ll give all the credit to the home environment and particularly to his mother, Kukua, who created the enabling environment for the gifts this child has brought into this world to flourish.

“At a very early age, all children show their natural inclinations. Children come here to contribute and make the world a better place.

“This Guinness World Record for Liam should act as an inspiration for parents to pay more attention to their children, provide all the resources, and give the child all the necessary tools so that their gift will flourish,” the renowned artist added.

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

VenturesNow18 mins ago

Tax evasion trial of Binance executives postponed until June 14 by Nigerian court

A Nigerian court Wednesday postponed the tax evasion case against Binance until next month, when the cryptocurrency exchange and two...

Metro2 hours ago

‘Nigeria has witnessed significant progress under Tinubu’— SGF Akume

Nigeria’s Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, has given thumbs up to the administration of President...

Politics18 hours ago

Chad’s PM resigns following disputed election of Deby

Succes Masra, the opposition leader and prime minister of Chad, announced on Wednesday that he had tendered his resignation following...

VenturesNow1 day ago

Private sector concerned as Nigeria’s central bank raises interest rate to 26.25% 

The decision of Nigeria’s central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee to raise the country’s benchmark interest rate has alarmed members of...

Politics1 day ago

Kenya’s Ruto to discuss debt relief with Biden this week

This week, Kenyan President, William Ruto will be hosted by US President, Joe Biden, for extensive negotiations that are anticipated...

Strictly Personal1 day ago

As a continent, we must confront the emergency of our failure to learn, By Joachim Buwembo

“As a nation, we must confront the emergency of our failure to learn!” well-circulated news clips showed veteran Kenyan opposition...

Musings From Abroad1 day ago

French, Russia, Chinese firms court Ghana amid plan for first nuclear power plant

According to a representative of the energy ministry, Ghana will choose a contractor by December to construct its first nuclear...

Metro1 day ago

Tinubu’s policies in the best interest of Nigerians— VP Shettima

Nigeria’s Vice President, Kashim Shettima, on Tuesday once again justified the policies and programmes of the President Bola Tinubu administration,...

Sports2 days ago

Simbine wades in on Omanyala, Tebogo “Africa Sprints King’ debate

South African sprint sensation, Akani Simbine, has weighed in on the “African Sprint King” debate between Africa’s fastest man and...

Tech2 days ago

Egypt’s Venture Capital firm Glint announces completing close of $3m fund

Egyptian Venture Capital firm, Glint, has announved completing the first close of its second venture fund, which will invest in...

Trending