A new human-like species have been discovered in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa, BBC reported.
According to researchers, the discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa.
The scientists claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors.
The studies which have been published in the journal Elife also indicate that these individuals were capable of ritual behavior.
The species, which has been named naledi, has been classified in the grouping, or genus, Homo, to which modern humans belong.
The researchers who made the find have not been able to find out how long ago these creatures lived.
Prof. Lee Berger, the scientist who led the team, told BBC that he believed they could be among the first of our kind (genus Homo) and could have lived in Africa up to three million years ago.
He also said naledi could be thought of as a “bridge” between more primitive bipedal primates and humans.
The haul of 15 partial skeletons includes both males and females of varying ages – from infants to elderly. The discovery is unprecedented in Africa and will shed more light on how the first humans evolved.