Two Stories of Enduring and Steadfast Bones

Today’s Quote morphed into a blog post- but that’s okay. Sometimes you just have to go where the Muse sends you:

    Before this fire of sense decay,
This smoke of thought blow clean away,
And leave with ancient night alone

   The steadfast and enduring bone.

A Shropshire Lad – XLIII – The Immortal Part

by A. E. Housman

Skeletons of Grover Krantz and His Dog, Clyde, at the Smithsonian Institution. Mr, Krantz donated his body to science and his skeleton and that of his beloved dog are displayed in the National Museum of Natural History.

I am very excited about these two episodes from Netflix’s new  docuseries that will kick off in July.

Each of these episodes deal with burial customs from two very intriguing groups of people- one being the Ancient Egyptians of whom most of us are familiar and the other is the Homo Naledi of who none of us were familiar with until 2013.

Homo Naledi is an extinct species of archaic humans discovered in 2013 in the Rising Star Cave, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. They are dated to the Middle Pleistocene 335,000–236,000 years ago and they not only buried their dead, they marked their graves too.

Art and burial customs are believed to belong to humans ( we have those big brains you know ), but this discovery speaks to the theory that death and burials may not be a tradition unique to humans.

Here are some clips from the upcoming series, see if you find them as fantastic as I do!


UNKNOWN: ” Cave of Bones,” journeys to South Africa’s Cradle of Humankind, where Paleoanthropologist Lee Berger has found the world’s oldest graveyard. If Lee and his team can prove that this ancient, small brained, ape-like creature practiced complex burial rituals, it will change everything we know about hominid evolution and the origins of belief. -Netflix

A rendering of Homo naledi, an early hominin discovered in 2013 that likely lived between 335,000 to 236,000 years ago.
Mark Thiessan/National Geographic

I couldn’t find a trailer for this series so I pulled a couple of clips together for you to look at:

Discovered on July 28th, 2022. This picture shows an image of Panel B in the Hill Antechamber exhibiting numerous engravings and etchings on the ancient dolomitic wall. The panel shows repeated etchings likely done over a considerable period. The etchings include geometric figures such as squares, ladders, triangles, crosses, and X’s. Image from Berger et al. (2023b).


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