Geological Setting and Age of Australopithecus sediba from Southern Africa
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We describe the geological, geochronological, geomorphological, and faunal context of the Malapa site and the fossils of Australopithecus sediba. The hominins occur with a macrofauna assemblage that existed in Africa between 2.36 and 1.50 million years ago (Ma). The fossils are encased in water-laid, clastic sediments that were deposited along the lower parts of what is now a deeply eroded cave system, immediately above a flowstone layer with a U-Pb date of 2.026 ± 0.021 Ma. The flowstone has a reversed paleomagnetic signature and the overlying hominin-bearing sediments are of normal polarity, indicating deposition during the 1.95- to 1.78-Ma Olduvai Subchron. The two hominin specimens were buried together in a single debris flow that lithified soon after deposition in a phreatic environment inaccessible to scavengers.
Science, Vol. 328, no. 5975 (04-09-2010).
Dirks, Paul H.G.M.; Kibii, Job M.; and Kuhn, Brian F., "Geological Setting and Age of Australopithecus sediba from Southern Africa" (2010). KIP Articles. 2167.