In 2013, two cavers came across human remains in the Rising Star Cave system near Johannesburg, South Africa, and American paleoanthropologist Lee Berger was eager to get a look at them. The only problem? The remains could only be accessed through a 7-inch- wide passageway, and Berger was too large to fit.
He put out a call for cavers with experience in paleontology or archaeology—and with very small stature. Becca Peixotto answered the call.
A current AU anthropology PhD student and graduate of the public anthropology master’s program, Becca was excited to join the expedition.
Working on an all woman-team of six scientist climbers, Becca helped excavate the largest collection of hominin remains ever found in Africa and contributed to the discovery of a new early human relative species: Homo naledi.
Listen as she shares a bit about her experience on the Rising Star Expedition.
Find out more about the Master’s Degree in Public Anthropology.