On February 10, 2011, the exact fossil replicas of two of the most complete early human skeletons ever found were donated to the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program. This generous gift was made by paleontologist Dr. Lee Berger, University of the Witwatersrand, and the Government of the Republic of South Africa. These 1.9-million-year-old fossils from Malapa Cave, South Africa, were first announced in April 2010, and have the scientific name Australopithecus sediba.
This gift offers an opportunity for the public to see these spectacular finds, and for researchers and students to study them. The fossil casts are now exhibited intermittently in the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins – the first public display of this early human species in North America.