National Geographic Live: The Mystery of Our Human Story

It is no exaggeration to say that paleoanthropologist Lee Berger’s 2013 discovery of Homo naledi signaled a profound shift in our understanding of human evolution. In a secret chamber of the remote Rising Star cave system near Johannesburg, South Africa, a massive collection of bones was discovered by his explorers, assisted by recreational cavers. So he rapidly assembled a team of “underground astronauts” with caving experience, scientific backgrounds and the kind of physique that could fit in a chute averaging 7.9 inches in width. What they found suggested something unprecedented — ritual burial, a practice long thought to be unique to Homo sapiens. And that was just the beginning.

This event is presented by the Seattle Symphony.

Benaroya Hall Events

Dates and Tickets

  • 2 Apr (Sun) 2017 2:00PM
  • 3 Apr (Mon) 2017 7:30PM
  • 4 Apr (Tue) 2017 7:30PM


S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium - Benaroya Hall


Lee Berger

Lee Berger is an award-winning researcher, author, speaker and paleoanthropologist. He is the Research Professor in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.