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A number of varieties of ''
Homo ''Homo'' () is the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), cir ...

Homo
'' are grouped into the broad category of archaic humans in the period that precedes and is contemporary to the emergence of the earliest
early modern humans Early modern human (EMH) or anatomically modern human (AMH) are terms used to distinguish ''Homo sapiens'' (the only extant Hominina species) that are anatomically consistent with the range of phenotypes seen in contemporary humans from extin ...
(''Homo sapiens'') around 300 ka. Omo-Kibish I (Omo I) from southern
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
(196 ± 5 ka) and the remains from
Jebel Irhoud Jebel Irhoud ( ary, جبل إيغود, ǧabal īġūd also Adrar Ighud, Berber: ') is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric ...
in Morocco (about 315 ka) and Florisbad in South Africa (259 ka) are among the earliest remains of ''Homo sapiens''. The term typically includes ''
Homo neanderthalensis Neanderthals (, also Neandertals, ''Homo neanderthalensis'' or ''Homo sapiens neanderthalensis'') are an extinct species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an org ...

Homo neanderthalensis
'' (430+–25 ka),
Denisovan The Denisovans or Denisova hominins ) are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic human that ranged across Asia during the Lower Paleolithic, Lower and Middle Paleolithic. Denisovans are known from few remains, and, consequently, most of wha ...
s, ''
Homo rhodesiensis ''Homo rhodesiensis'' is the species name proposed by Arthur Smith Woodward (1921) to classify Kabwe 1 (the "Kabwe skull" or "Broken Hill skull", also "Rhodesian Man"), a Middle Stone Age fossil recovered from a cave at Broken Hill, or Kabwe, No ...

Homo rhodesiensis
'' (300–125 ka), ''
Homo heidelbergensis ''Homo heidelbergensis'' (also ''H. sapiens heidelbergensis'') is an extinct species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversit ...

Homo heidelbergensis
'' (600–200 ka), ''
Homo naledi '' Homo naledi'' is a species of Archaic humans, archaic human discovered in 2013 in the Rising Star Cave, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa dating to the Middle Pleistocene 335,000–236,000 years ago. The initial discovery comprises 1,550 spe ...

Homo naledi
'', ''
Homo ergaster ''Homo ergaster'' is an extinct species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular int ...

Homo ergaster
'', and ''
Homo antecessor ''Homo antecessor'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

Homo antecessor
''. There is no universal consensus on this terminology, and varieties of "archaic humans" are included under the binomial name of either ''Homo sapiens'' or ''
Homo erectus ''Homo erectus'' (meaning "upright Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are geometrical orientations relative to a body such as a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread s ...

Homo erectus
'' by some authors. Archaic humans had a brain size averaging 1,200 to 1,400 cubic centimeters, which overlaps with the range of modern humans. Archaics are distinguished from anatomically modern humans by having a thick skull, prominent
supraorbital ridge The brow ridge, or supraorbital ridge known as superciliary arch in medicine, refers to a bony ridge located above the eye sockets of all primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutheria Eutheria (; from Greek ...
s (brow ridges) and the lack of a prominent
chin The human chin (also known as the mental protuberance, mental eminence and, rarely, mental osseum, tuber symphyseos) is the forward pointed part of the anterior mandible In anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of ...

chin
.
Anatomically modern humans Early modern human (EMH) or anatomically modern human (AMH) are terms used to distinguish ''Homo sapiens'' (the only extant Hominina species) that are Human anatomy, anatomically consistent with the Human variability, range of phenotypes seen i ...
appear around 300,000 years ago in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
, and 70,000 years ago (see
Toba catastrophe theory The Youngest Toba eruption was a Supervolcano, supervolcanic types of volcanic eruptions, eruption that occurred around 75,000 years ago at the site of present-day Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. It is one of the Earth's List of largest volcanic ...
), gradually supplanting the "archaic" human varieties. Non-modern varieties of ''Homo'' are certain to have survived until after 30,000 years ago, and perhaps until as recently as 12,000 years ago. Which of these, if any, are included under the term "archaic human" is a matter of definition and varies among authors. Nonetheless, according to recent ,
modern humans Early modern human (EMH) or anatomically modern human (AMH) are terms used to distinguish ''Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread of , characterized by and large, complex brains. This has enabled ...
may have bred with "at least two groups" of ancient humans:
Neanderthals Neanderthals (, also Neandertals, ''Homo neanderthalensis'' or ''Homo sapiens neanderthalensis'') are an extinct species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an org ...
and
Denisovans The Denisovans or Denisova hominins ) are an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system ...
. Other studies have cast doubt on admixture being the source of the shared genetic markers between archaic and modern humans, pointing to an ancestral origin of the traits which originated 500,000–800,000 years ago. Another group may also have been extant as recently as 11,500 years ago, the Red Deer Cave people of China.
Chris Stringer Christopher Brian Stringer (born 1947) is a British physical anthropologist noted for his work on human evolution. Biography Growing up in a working-class family in the East End of London The East End of London, often referred to withi ...

Chris Stringer
of the
Natural History Museum A natural history museum or museum of natural history is a scientific institution with natural history scientific collection, collections that include current and historical records of animals, plants, Fungus, fungi, ecosystems, geology, paleo ...

Natural History Museum
in London has suggested that these people could be a result of mating between Denisovans and modern humans. Other scientists remain skeptical, suggesting that the unique features are within the variations expected for modern human populations.


Terminology and definition

The category archaic human lacks a single, agreed upon definition. According to one definition, ''Homo sapiens'' is a single species comprising several subspecies that include the archaics and modern humans. Under this definition, modern humans are referred to as ''Homo sapiens sapiens'' and archaics are also designated with the prefix "''Homo'' ''sapiens''". For example, the Neanderthals are ''Homo sapiens neanderthalensis'', and ''Homo heidelbergensis'' is ''Homo sapiens heidelbergensis''. Other taxonomists prefer not to consider archaics and modern humans as a single species but as several different species. In this case the standard taxonomy is used, i.e. ''Homo rhodesiensis'', or ''Homo neanderthalensis''. The evolutionary dividing lines that separate modern humans from archaic humans and archaic humans from ''Homo erectus'' are unclear. The earliest known fossils of anatomically modern humans such as the
Omo remains The Omo remains are a collection of homininThis article quotes historic texts that use the terms 'hominid' and 'hominin' with meanings that may be different from their modern usages. This is because several revisions in classifying the great apes h ...
from 195,000 years ago, ''
Homo sapiens idaltu Herto Man refers to the 160,000- to 154,000-year-old human remains (''Homo sapiens'') discovered in 1997 from the Upper Herto Member of the Bouri Formation in the Afar Triangle, Ethiopia. The discovery of Herto Man was especially significant a ...

Homo sapiens idaltu
'' from 160,000 years ago, and
Qafzeh Mount Precipice ( he, הר הקפיצה, "''Har HaKfitsa''"; ar, جبل القفزة, "''Jebel al-Qafzeh''", "Mount of the Leap"), also known as Mount of Precipitation, Mount of the Leap of the Lord and Mount Kedumim is located just outside the s ...
remains from 90,000 years ago are recognizably modern humans. However, these early modern humans do possess a number of archaic traits, such as moderate, but not prominent, brow ridges.


Brain size expansion

The emergence of archaic humans is sometimes used as an example of
punctuated equilibrium Image:PunctuatedEquilibrium.png, The punctuated equilibrium model (top) consists of Morphology (biology), morphological stability followed by rare bursts of evolutionary change via rapid cladogenesis. It is contrasted (below) to phyletic gradualism ...

punctuated equilibrium
. This occurs when a species undergoes significant biological evolution within a relatively short period. Subsequently, the species undergoes very little change for long periods until the next punctuation. The brain size of archaic humans expanded significantly from in ''erectus'' to . Since the peak of human brain size during the archaics, it has begun to decline.


Origin of language

Robin Dunbar Robin Ian MacDonald Dunbar (born 28 June 1947) is a British anthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, societies. Social ant ...
has argued that archaic humans were the first to use language. Based on his analysis of the relationship between brain size and hominin group size, he concluded that because archaic humans had large brains, they must have lived in groups of over 120 individuals. Dunbar argues that it was not possible for
hominins The Hominini form a taxonomic tribe of the subfamily Homininae Homininae (), also called "African hominids" or "African apes", is a subfamily of Hominidae. It includes two tribes, with their extant as well as extinct species: 1) the tribe H ...
to live in such large groups without using language, otherwise there could be no group cohesion and the group would disintegrate. By comparison,
chimpanzees The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and ...
live in smaller groups of up to 50 individuals.


Fossils

*
Atapuerca Mountains The Atapuerca Mountains ( es, Sierra de Atapuerca) is a karst topography, karstic hill formation near the village of Atapuerca (town), Atapuerca, in the Province of Burgos (Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Castile and Leon), ...
, ''Sima de los Huesos'' *
Saldanha Man Saldanha man also known as Saldanha cranium or Elandsfontein cranium are fossilized remains of an archaic human A number of varieties of '' Homo'' are grouped into the broad category of archaic humans in the period that precedes and is contemporar ...
*
Altamura Man 280px, Altamura Man, surrounded by limestone deposits. The Altamura Man is a fossil A fossil (from Classical Latin: , literally "obtained by digging") is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once- living thing from a past geo ...
*
Kabwe skull Kabwe 1 (also called the Broken Hill skull, Rhodesian Man) is a Middle Paleolithic The Middle Paleolithic (or Middle Palaeolithic) is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe Europe is a c ...
* Steinheim skull *
Ndutu cranium The Ndutu skull is the partial cranium of a hominin that has been assigned variously to late ''Homo erectus'' ''Homo rhodesiensis'', and early ''Homo sapiens'', from the Middle Pleistocene, found at Lake Ndutu in northern Tanzania. Discovery L ...


See also

*
Interbreeding between archaic and modern humans There is evidence for interbreeding between archaic and modern humans during the Middle Paleolithic and early Upper Paleolithic. The interbreeding happened in several independent events that included Neanderthals and Denisovans, as well as severa ...
*
Anatomically modern human Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
* '' Dawn of Humanity'' (2015 PBS film) *
Early human migrations Early human migrations are the earliest of across continents. They are believed to have begun approximately 2 million years ago with the by '. This initial migration was followed by other including ', which lived around 500,000 years ...
*
Evolution of human intelligence The evolution of human intelligence is closely tied to the evolution of the human brain The human brain is the central organ (anatomy), organ of the human nervous system, and with the spinal cord makes up the central nervous system. The brain ...
*
Human evolution Human evolution is the evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual ...

Human evolution
*
Middle Paleolithic The Middle Paleolithic (or Middle Palaeolithic) is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehi ...
* Neanderthal extinction hypotheses *
Recent African origin of modern humans In paleoanthropology Paleoanthropology or paleo-anthropology is a branch of paleontology and biological anthropology, anthropology which seeks to understand the early development of anatomically modern humans, a process known as wikt:hominiza ...


References


External links


Early and Late "Archaic" Homo Sapiens and "Anatomically Modern" Homo Sapiens





Human Timeline (Interactive)
,
National Museum of Natural History The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum A natural history museum or museum of natural history is a scientific institution with natural history scientific collection, collections that include current and historica ...

National Museum of Natural History
(August 2016). {{Portal bar, Evolutionary biology, Paleontology Middle Stone Age Paleoanthropology Human populations Recent African origin of modern humans Human evolution