Australopithecus sediba at 1.977 Ma and Implications for the Origins of the Genus Homo Academic Article uri icon


  • Newly exposed cave sediments at the Malapa site include a flowstone layer capping the sedimentary unit containing the Australopithecus sediba fossils. Uranium-lead dating of the flowstone, combined with paleomagnetic and stratigraphic analysis of the flowstone and underlying sediments, provides a tightly constrained date of 1.977 ± 0.002 million years ago (Ma) for these fossils. This refined dating suggests that Au. sediba from Malapa predates the earliest uncontested evidence for Homo in Africa.


  • Pickering, R
  • Dirks, PHGM
  • Jinnah, Z
  • de Ruiter, DJ
  • Churchill, SE
  • Herries, AIR
  • Woodhead, JD
  • Hellstrom, JC
  • Berger, LR

publication date

  • September 9, 2011