In reading the about the Top 10 Discoveries of 2015 article, it was nearly impossible to pick which one I believed to be the absolute number one. It was a very close tie between the “Tracing Slave Origins” and the “New Human Relative.” However, after analyzing my own interest in the two, I realized that my interest in genetics played a huge part in placing the “Tracing Slave Origins” article in the top two and that the “New Human Relative” article most likely was the most profound discovery over all.
I believe this one was most profound in the fact that not only was there a new species discovered, which is always exciting, but it was a new ancestor to the humans of today’s world. How fascinating is it that in 2015, when it’s hard to imagine how much more brand new technology we could come up with, we are just now finding an entirely new ancestor to us!? It especially amazed me that it wasn’t just one, but many specimens for us to study.
This article did not cover much cultural material or mention if there were cultural artifacts discovered, except that the remains were found in Johannesburg, which meant that they were most likely what we would consider Africans. The article also pointed out that although they estimate that they were from around 2.5 million years ago, they have not yet dated the remains. This article also did not cover much of a context, other than that the remains were found in a cave system, so its not clear if this is where they lived, or were hiding there, or buried there. Although, I’d be fascinated to find out!
In regards to all of the Top 10 Discoveries of 2015, I found it truly amazing that they were so diverse in the locations, the types of discoveries, and cultures they represented. It’s so crazy that we are still finding so many different things today, and it also makes me almost sad to think about all the discoveries we aren’t making and probably never will. We obviously cannot dig up the entirety of the Earth, so I guess some things are just never meant to be found…