At a remote region in southwestern Ethiopia, the Omo River and its long-vanished tributaries have laid bare rugged bluffs and hillsides, exposing a layer cake of ancient sediments and the trapped remains of early humans. Before the Covid pandemic, Céline Vidal and colleagues journeyed to this site known as the Kibish Formation to work in scorching temperatures up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, picking through the ashes of ancient volcanic eruptions to learn more about some of the oldest members of our species.
In Uganda, Buganda is a kingdom. Buganda, the kingdom of the people of Ganda, is the largest of the traditional kingdoms in present-day East Africa, consisting of the Central Region of Uganda, including Kampala, the Ugandan capital. The 6 million Baganda (singular Muganda; also simply referred to by the root word and adjective, Ganda) make up the largest ethnic group in Uganda, comprising about 16.9 percent of the population of Uganda.
If you drive into the high veld country an hour northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, you might not even notice when you cross into the Cradle of Humankind. The reason 180 square miles of open grasslands and scattered acacia and stinkwood trees have been given such a resonant honorific—it’s a World Heritage site, no less—lies mostly hidden underground, in the fossil-rich labyrinth of caves and sinkholes that riddle the limestone bedrock. On Thursday, scientists announced a new offering from the Cradle of Humankind: an ancient species called Homonaledi.