Homo heidelbergensis

homo heidelbergensis

Sometimes referred to as Archaic Homo sapiens, Homo heidelbergensis fossils have been found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. H. heidelbergensis retained many primitive traits such as a large face and separated brow ridge, but also derived features such as a larger brain size (1100-1300 cc) and anatomically modern frontal bone and cranial base.

H. heidelbergensis is associated with the first evidence of spear use. The type specimen for H. heidelbergensis is Homo heidelbergensis 1 which was found near Heidelberg, Germany and dates to approximately 500,000 years ago. eFossils is a collaborative website in which users can explore important fossil localities and browse the fossil digital library. If you have any problems using this homo heidelbergensis or have any other questions, please feel free to contact us.

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Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species of human that is identified in both Africa homo heidelbergensis western Eurasia from roughly 700,000 years ago onwards until around 200,000 years ago – fitting snugly within the Middle Pleistocene. Named for a piece of jawbone found near Heidelberg, Germany, these hominins occupy an intriguing and much-discussed spot in the jumble of human evolution; they are most commonly seen to have developed from Homo erectus and to have given rise to Homo sapiens in Africa and to homo heidelbergensis Neanderthals in Europe.

However, exactly how or why (and even if) this happened, is the subject of much debate, and the same goes for the precise definition of this species – for instance, which fossils should be included and which should not.

Following the general view, though, Homo heidelbergensis is recognised as a distinct species that was a bit more brainy and inventive than its predecessors; fairly complex tools are associated with them, allowing us to catch a glimpse of possibly quite daring hunting strategies involving larger prey animals, which hints at the potential presence of social cooperation.

Discovery In 1907 CE, the Grafenrain sandpit at the site of Mauer, near Heidelberg, Germany, became somewhat of a sensation as a robustly built jawbone of a previously unknown species of human was discovered there. After realising it had both some more primitive features as well as bits that reminded him of more recent human features, Otto Schoetensack assigned it to a distinct species he named Homo heidelbergensis in the following year.

The jawbone has recently been dated to an age of around 600,000 years ago, which falls within the MIS 15 interglacial period and indicates that its owner would not have instantly frozen solid upon reaching this region.

Homo Heidelbergensis were somewhat chunkier versions of ourselves; noticeably more robust than us, but with a brain size almost approaching our own. What did they look like? If one was to stroll into a Middle Pleistocene cave inhabited by an average group of Homo heidelbergensis individuals, they would probably strike one as somewhat chunkier versions of ourselves; noticeably more robust than us, but with a brain size almost approaching our own – perhaps averaging somewhere around 1200 cm3 or upwards, which is markedly bigger than that of Homo erectus.

Although Heidelbergensis still had quite heavily constructed, broad faces reminiscent of Homo erectus, their brow ridges were less pronounced and their noses were more vertical like ours are, instead of sloping forward like those of Erectus. A skull from Bodo, Ethiopia, dated to approximately 600,000 years ago, is a good example of this mix of characteristics, and it can reasonably be grouped not just with other fossils from Africa, like those from Broken Hill in Zambia; Elandsfontein in South Africa; and Lake Ndutu in Tanzania; but also with individuals from Europe, such as those from Petralona in Greece, Arago in France, and generally also the mandible from Mauer, Germany.

Once the Middle Pleistocene fossil record decides to be a bit more generous, we may be able to more directly visualise the proposed development from Heidelbergensis into Sapiens in Africa and into Neanderthals in Europe. One possible example comes from the site homo heidelbergensis Boxgrove in England, Europe, which is usually assigned to Homo heidelbergensis and is thought to be around 500,000 years old.

The tibia found there shows it was more robust than average Heidelbergensis specimens and indicates body proportions that were better adapted to the cold, foreshadowing those of the later Neanderthals.

Ryan Somma (CC BY-SA) Lifestyle These humans were hunter-gatherers - homo heidelbergensis of them well-adapted to the generally more stable and warm African terrain; another branch skilled at weaving in and out of regions in Europe along with the growing and receding ice sheets.

Obviously, these bands would not have shared the exact same customs down to a tee, but we can still paint something of a general picture, with some splashes of homo heidelbergensis colour added.

Part of this general picture involves Heidelbergensis coming home from a fruitful hunt and sticking the day's catch over a neat fire. Preferred real estate came in the shape of caves, which during the Middle Pleistocene became both more spatially structured and dotted with hearths. Although a more incidental use of fire had been around since at least 1,8 million years ago, fire remained a rare sight up until the days of Homo heidelbergensis.

During its timespan, Heidelbergensis became ever more accustomed to fire and its cooking potential; we know homo heidelbergensis by at least around 400,000 years ago, humans roaming across the Old World - including the colder north, where it was particularly useful – clearly used fire in a habitual way. Fire is already a sign of a more advanced sort of lifestyle, and this image is further supported by the tools manufactured and used by Homo heidelbergensis.

Their tool kits were more sophisticated than that of Homo erectus and belonged, in contrast to the latter's early Acheulean, to the later Acheulean industry. In general, the Acheulean is characterised by large bifaces like hand axes, picks and cleavers, whereas later Acheulean tools were thinner, more finely flaked, and more symmetrical.

Hunting prowess That the tools created by Homo heidelbergensis allowed them not just to process their food and work raw materials to a satisfactory standard, but also to become adept hunters climbing further up the food chain, seems to be suggested by certain finds. At the site of Boxgrove in England, dated to around 500,000 years ago, thin and extensively flaked flint bifaces have been found together with the remains of horses and rhinoceroses.

Interestingly, the animal bones bear cut marks, indicating that these large animals seem to have been killed and butchered by Heidelbergensis. At Schöningen in Germany, things become even more exciting; eight skilfully crafted wooden throwing spears have been found, created at least 300,000 years ago. The remains of numerous horses - many of their bones cut-marked - found in the same horizon, ties in with Boxgrove and seems to indicate that Heidelbergensis systematically hunted large animals.

This is no easy feat; the manufacturing of the spears shows active planning, and bringing down these dangerous animals would have required coordination and sophisticated communication. P. Pfarr NLD (CC BY-SA) The backdrop for these activities, then, hints at a social structure that may well have been more widespread. Although wood does not usually stand the test of time very well, Heidelbergensis' stone tools show a similarly advanced nature across its range, and unless this specific region was somehow unique in its development wooden tools could have made up an important part of these people's prehistoric tool kits.

If that were indeed the case, the social implications that have been suggested for the site of Schöningen are assumed to be valid across the breadth of the species.

We may yet discover more evidence to shed light on this matter. Heidelbergensis' place within evolution Since it can sometimes be hard to confidently lump an ambiguous fossil (of which there are plenty) into species such as Homo erectus, Homo homo heidelbergensis, or the Neanderthals, researchers have come up with all sorts of scenarios describing the place of Heidelbergensis within evolution.

Sometimes, Heidelbergensis is scrapped altogether in favour of a more broadly defined Homo erectus; sometimes Heidelbergensis is seen as an exclusively European lineage giving rise to the Neanderthals; and the more stubborn kind of fossils associated with Heidelbergensis seem hard-pressed to attain any kind of consensus.

Around 700,000 years ago Homo heidelbergensis developed from Homo erectus. However, so far the scenario best supported by both the anatomical and the genetic evidence, of which the general lines (although not always the details) are favoured by most people, is as follows.

Around 700,000 years ago (and perhaps as early as 780,000 years ago), Homo heidelbergensis had developed from Homo erectus. In Africa, they were part of a gradual, mosaic-like transition into the earliest Homo sapiens around roughly 200,000 years ago.

Finds from sites such as Omo Kibish, Ethiopia; Irhoud in Morocco; and Herto in the Middle Awash region seem to showcase this. Populations of Heidelbergensis also spread through western Eurasia, appearing north of the major mountains of Europe sometime after 700,000 years ago. Clearly adapting well to the challenging environment, the cold conditions led them to evolve the specialised facial features and more stocky build of the Neanderthals, to whom they gave rise and who appear with clear and recognisable features from roughly 200,000 onwards.

Of course, with this being a gradual process, the proposed timing homo heidelbergensis subject to a lot of bickering. There is another group that also derives from Heidelbergensis, though. In 2008 CE, a human finger bone was found in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia that turned out to belong to a separate species dubbed the Denisovans. Genetic evidence has since revealed that they are a sister species to the Neanderthals, with these two groups diverging at some point after the Heidelbergensis lineages leading to Sapiens as well as the Neanderthals and Denisovans had split.

Chris Stringer (CC BY-SA) This new addition just homo heidelbergensis it even clearer how complex an evolutionary story the Pleistocene really tells. Another confusing example homo heidelbergensis the fossils at the site of Sima homo heidelbergensis los Huesos in Spain.

Generally grouped within Homo heidelbergensis, these fossils are at least 430,000 years old (and perhaps up to c. 530,000 years homo heidelbergensis and already show some Neanderthal-like features, opening up the debate for them being considered proto-Neanderthals: Heidelbergensis on their way to eventually becoming Neanderthals.

homo heidelbergensis

Interestingly, in 2014 mitochondrial DNA was retrieved from one of the Sima fossils which showed it was closely related to the lineage leading to the Denisovans - a sister group to the Neanderthals.

It is clear that the Pleistocene was home to a complex story of human evolution. Bibliography • Arnold, L. J. e.a. "Luminescence dating and palaeomagnetic age constraint on hominins from Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca, Spain." Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 67 (February 2014), pp.

85-107. • Gowlett, J., and R.W. Wrangham. "Earliest fire in Africa: towards the convergence of archaeological evidence and the cooking hypothesis." Azania Arch. Res. Africa, 48, 2013, pp. 5-30. • Henke, Winfried, and Ian Tattersall (eds.). Handbook of Paleoanthropology. Vol III. Springer, 2015 • Krause, J. e.a. "The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia." Nature, 464, 8 april 2010, pp.

894-897. • Meyer, M. e.a. "A mitochondrial genome sequence of a hominin from Sima de los Huesos." Nature, 505 (16 January 2014), pp.

403–406. • Mounier, A. e.a. "Is Homo heidelbergensis a distinct species? New insight on the Mauer mandible." Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 56, Issue 3, March 2009, pp. 219–246. • Quam, Rolf e.a. "The bony labyrinth of the middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain)." Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 90, January 2016, pp. 1–15. • Rightmire, P.G.

"Human Evolution in the Middle Pleistocene: The Role of Homo heidelbergensis." Evolutionary Anthropology, Volume 6, Issue 6, 1998, pp.

218–227. • Schoch, W.H. e.a. "New insights on the wooden weapons from the Paleolithic site of Schöningen." Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 89, Homo heidelbergensis 2015, pp. 214–225. • Shimelmitz, R. e.a. "Fire at will’: the emergence of habitual fire use 350,000 years ago." J. Hum. Evol., 77, 2014, pp. 196–203. • Stringer, Chris. Lone Survivors. How we came to be the only humans on earth. St. Martin's Griffin, 2013. • Stringer, Chris. "The status of Homo heidelbergensis (Schoetensack 1908)." Evolutionary Anthropology, Volume 21, Issue 3, May/June 2012, pp.

101–107. • Stringer, Chris e.a. "The Middle Pleistocene human tibia from Boxgrove." Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 34, Issue 5, May 1998, pp. 509-547. • Wagner, Günther A.

e.a. "Mauer – the type site of Homo heidelbergensis: palaeoenvironment and age." Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 30, Issues 11–12, June 2011, pp.

1464–1473. • Wagner, Günther A. e.a. "Radiometric dating of the type-site for Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer, Germany." PNAS, vol. 107 no. 46, 6 November 2010, pp.

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Schoetensack, 1908 Synonyms • † Homo rhodesiensis?

( Woodward, 1921) Homo heidelbergensis (also H. sapiens heidelbergensis) is an extinct species or subspecies of archaic human which existed during the Middle Pleistocene.

It was subsumed as a subspecies of H. erectus in 1950 as H. e. heidelbergensis, but towards the end of the century, it was more widely classified as its own species. It is debated whether or not to constrain H. heidelbergensis to only Europe or to also include African and Asian specimens, and this is further confounded by the type specimen ( Mauer 1) being a jawbone, because jawbones feature few diagnostic traits and are generally missing among Middle Pleistocene specimens.

Homo heidelbergensis, it is debated if some of these specimens could be split off into their own species or a homo heidelbergensis of H. erectus. Because the classification is so disputed, the Middle Pleistocene is often called the "muddle in the middle." H. heidelbergensis is regarded as a chronospecies, evolving from an African form of H. erectus (sometimes called H. homo heidelbergensis. By convention, H. heidelbergensis is placed as the most recent common ancestor between modern humans homo heidelbergensis H.

sapiens or H. s. sapiens) and Neanderthals ( H. neanderthalensis or H. s. neanderthalensis). Many specimens assigned to H. heidelbergensis likely existed well after the modern human/Neanderthal split. In the Middle Pleistocene, brain size averaged about 1,200 cubic centimetres (cc), comparable to modern humans. Height in the Middle Pleistocene can only be estimated off remains from 3 localities: Sima de los Huesos, Spain, 169.5 cm (5 ft 7 in) for males and 157.7 cm (5 ft 2 in) for females; 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) for a female from Jinniushan, China; and 181.2 cm homo heidelbergensis ft 11 in) for a specimen from Kabwe, Zambia.

Like Neanderthals, they had wide chests and were robust overall. The Middle Pleistocene of Africa and Europe features the advent of Late Acheulian technology, diverging from that of earlier and contemporary H. erectus, and probably issuing from increasing intelligence. Fire likely became an integral part of daily life after 400,000 years ago, and this roughly coincides with more permanent and widespread occupation of Europe (above 45°N), and the appearance of hafting technology to create spears.

H. heidelbergensis may have been able to carry out coordinated hunting strategies, and consequently they seem to have had a higher dependence on meat. Contents • 1 Taxonomy • 1.1 Research history • 1.2 Classification • 1.3 Evolution • 2 Anatomy • 2.1 Skull • 2.2 Build • 2.3 Pathology • 3 Culture • 3.1 Food • 3.2 Art • 3.3 Technology • 3.3.1 Stone tools • 3.3.2 Fire and construction • 3.3.3 Spears • 3.4 Language • 4 See also • 5 References • 6 External links Taxonomy [ edit ] Research history [ edit ] The type specimen Mauer 1 The first fossil, Mauer 1 (a jawbone), was discovered by a worker in Mauer, southeast of Heidelberg, Germany, in 1907.

It was formally described the next year by German anthropologist Otto Schoetensack, who made it the type specimen of a new species, Homo heidelbergensis. [1] He split this off as a new species primarily because of the mandible's archaicness—in particular its enormous size—and it was the then-oldest human jaw in the European fossil record at 640,000 years old. The mandible is well preserved, missing only the left premolars, part of the 1st left molar, the tip of the left coronoid process (at the jaw hinge), and fragments of the mid-section as the jaw was found in 2 pieces and had to be glued together.

It may have belonged to a young adult based on slight wearing on the 3rd molar. [2] In 1921, the skull Kabwe 1 was discovered by Swiss miner Tom Zwiglaar in Kabwe, Zambia (at the time Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia), and was assigned to a new species, " H.

rhodesiensis", by English homo heidelbergensis Arthur Smith Woodward. [3] These were two of the many putative species of Middle Pleistocene Homo which were described throughout the first half of the 20th century. In the homo heidelbergensis, Ernst Mayr had entered the field of anthropology, and, surveying a "bewildering diversity of names," decided to define only three species of Homo: " H.

transvaalensis" (the australopithecines), H. erectus (including the Mauer mandible, and various putative African and Asian taxa) and Homo sapiens (including anything younger than H. erectus, such as modern humans and Neanderthals). Mayr defined them as a sequential lineage, with each species evolving into the next ( chronospecies). Though later Mayr changed his opinion on the australopithecines (recognising Australopithecus), his more conservative view of archaic human diversity became widely adopted in the subsequent decades.

[4] Reconstructed skull of Petralona 1 at the National Museum of Natural History Though H. erectus is still maintained as a highly variable, widespread and homo heidelbergensis species, it is still much debated whether or not sinking all Middle Pleistocene remains into it is justifiable. Mayr's lumping of H. heidelbergensis was first opposed by American anthropologist Francis Clark Howell in 1960.

In 1974, British physical anthropologist Chris Stringer pointed out similarities between the Kabwe 1 and the Greek Petralona skulls to the skulls of modern humans ( H. sapiens or H. s. sapiens) and Neanderthals ( H. neanderthalensis or H. s. neanderthalensis). Homo heidelbergensis, Stringer assigned them to Homo sapiens sensu lato ("in the broad sense"), as ancestral to modern humans and Neanderthals.

In 1979, Stringer and Finnish anthropologist Björn Kurtén found that the Kabwe and Petralona skulls are associated with the Cromerian industry like the Mauer mandible, and thus postulated these three populations might be allied with each other.

Though these fossils are poorly preserved and do not provide many comparable possible diagnostic traits (and likewise it was difficult at the time to properly define a unique species), they argued that at least these Middle Pleistocene specimens should be allocated to H. (s.?) heidelbergensis or " H. (s.?) rhodesiensis" (depending on, respectively, the inclusion or exclusion of the Mauer mandible) to formally recognise their similarity.

[5] Further work most influentially by Stringer, palaeoanthropologist Ian Tattersall, and human evolutionary biologist Phillip Rightmire reported further differences between Middle Pleistocene Afro-European specimens and H. erectus sensu stricto ("in the strict sense", in this case specimens from East Asia). [6] Consequently, Afro-European remains from 600 to 300 thousand years ago—most notably from Kabwe, Petralona, Bodo and Arago—are often classified as H.

heidelbergensis. In 2010, American physical anthropologist Jeffrey H. Schwartz and Tattersall suggested classifying all Middle Pleistocene European as well homo heidelbergensis Asian specimens—namely from Dali and Jinniushan in China—as H.

heidelbergensis. [4] This model is not as universally accepted. After the 2010 identification of the genetic code of some unique archaic human species in Siberia, termed " Denisovans" pending diagnostic fossil finds, it is postulated that homo heidelbergensis Asian remains could represent that same species. [5] Thus, Middle Pleistocene Asian specimens, such as Dali Man or the Indian Narmada Man, remain enigmatic.

[7] The palaeontology institute at Heidelberg University, where the Mauer mandible has been kept since 1908, changed the label from H. e. heidelbergensis to H. heidelbergensis in 2015. [8] Cast of Sima de los Huesos Skull 5 (" Miguelón") at the Natural History Museum, London In 1976 at Sima de los Huesos (SH) in the Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, Spanish palaeontologists Emiliano Aguirre, José María Basabe and Trinidad Torres began to excavate archaic human remains.

Their investigation of the site was prompted by the finding of several bear remains ( Ursus deningeri) since the early 20th century by amateur cavers (which consequently destroyed some of the human remains in that section).

By 1990, about 600 human remains were reported, and by 2004 the number had increased to roughly 4,000. These represent at least 28 homo heidelbergensis, of which possibly only one is a child, and the rest teenagers and young adults. The fossil assemblage is exceptionally complete, with whole corpses buried rapidly, with all bodily elements represented.

[9] In 1997, Spanish palaeoanthropologist Juan Luis Arsuaga assigned these to H. heidelbergensis, but in 2014, he retracted this, stating that Neanderthal-like features present in the Mauer mandible are missing in the SH humans. [10] Classification [ edit ] In palaeoanthropology, the Middle Pleistocene is often termed the "muddle in the middle" because the species-level classification of archaic human remains from this time period has been heavily debated. The ancestors of modern humans ( Homo sapiens or H.

s. sapiens) and Neanderthals ( H. neanderthalensis or H. s. neanderthalensis) diverged during this time period, and, by convention, H. heidelbergensis homo heidelbergensis typically considered the last common ancestor (LCA). This would make H. heidelbergensis a member of a chronospecies. [11] [7] It is much debated if the name H. heidelbergensis can be extended to Middle Pleistocene humans across the Old World, or if it is better to restrict it to just Europe.

In the latter case, Middle Pleistocene African remains can be split off into " H. rhodesiensis". [12] [13] [14] [15] In the latter view, " H.

rhodesiensis" can either be seen as the direct ancestor of modern humans, or of " H. helmei" which evolved into modern humans. [16] In 2021, Canadian palaeoanthropologist Mirjana Roksandic and colleagues suggested renaming " H. rhodesiensis" as " H. bodoensis", after the Bodo cranium, as the name rhodesiensis honours English diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes who disenfranchised the black population in southern Africa.

[17] Regarding the Middle Pleistocene European remains, some are more firmly placed on the Neanderthal line (namely SH, Pontnewyyd, Steinheim and Swanscombe), whereas others seem to have few uniquely Neanderthal features (Arago, Ceprano, Vértesszőlős, Bilzingsleben, Mala Balanica and Aroeira).

Because of this, it is suggested there were multiple lineages (or species) in this region and time period, but French palaeoanthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin considers this an unjustified extrapolation as they may have simply been different but still interconnected populations of a single, highly variable species.

[18] In 2015, Marie Antoinette de Lumley suggested the less derived material can also be split off into their own species or a subspecies of H.

erectus s. l. (for example, the Homo heidelbergensis material as " H. e. tautavelensis"). [6] In 2018, Mirjana Roksandic and colleagues revised the hypodigm homo heidelbergensis H. heidelbergensis to homo heidelbergensis only the specimens with no Neanderthal-derived traits (namely Mauer, Mala Balanica, Ceprano, HaZore'a and Nadaouiyeh Aïn Askar).

[19] There is no defined distinction between latest potential H. heidelbergensis material—specifically Steinheim and SH—and the earliest Neanderthal specimens— Biache, France; Ehringsdorf, Germany; or Saccopastore, Italy. [20] The use of the Mauer mandible, an isolated jawbone, as the type specimen for the species has been problematic as it does not present many diagnostic features, and in addition it is missing from several Middle Pleistocene specimens.

Anthropologist William Straus said on this topic that, "While the skull is the creation of God, the jaw is the work of the devil." If the Mauer mandible is actually a member of a different species than the Kabwe skull and most other Afro-European Middle Pleistocene archaic humans, then " H.

rhodesiensis" would take priority as the name of the LCA. [7] In 2021, Canadian anthropologist Mirjana Roksandic and colleagues recommended the complete dissolution of H. heidelbergensis and " H. rhodesiensis". They classified all European H. heidelbergensis as H. neanderthalensis, and synonymised H. rhodesiensis with a new species they named " H. bodoensis" which includes all African specimens, and potentially some from the Levant and the Balkans which have no Neanderthal-derived traits (namely Ceprano, Mala Balanica, HaZore'a and Nadaouiyeh Aïn Askar).

H. bodoensis is supposed to represent the immediate ancestor of modern humans, but does not include the LCA of modern humans and Neanderthals. They suggested the confusing morphology of the Middle Pleistocene was caused by periodic H.

bodoensis migration events into Europe following population collapses after glacial cycles, interbreeding with surviving indigenous populations. [21] Evolution [ edit ] H.

heidelbergensis is thought to have descended from African H. erectus—sometimes classified as Homo ergaster—during the first early expansions of hominins out of Africa beginning roughly 2 million years ago.

Those that dispersed across Europe and stayed in Africa evolved into H. heidelbergensis or speciated into H. heidelbergensis in Europe and " H. rhodesiensis" in Africa, and those that dispersed across East Asia evolved into H. erectus s.

s. [2] The exact derivation from an ancestor species is obfuscated by a long gap in the human fossil record near the end of the Early Pleistocene. [16] In 2016, Antonio Profico and colleagues suggested that 875,000-year-old skull materials from the Gombore II site of the Melka Kunture Formation, Ethiopia, represent a transitional morph between H.

ergaster and H. heidelbergensis, and thus postulated that H. heidelbergensis originated in Africa instead of Europe. [16] The speciation of modern humans and Neanderthals using the Sima de los Huesos remains According to genetic analysis, the LCA of modern humans and Neanderthal split into a modern human line, and a Neanderthal/Denisovan line, and the latter later split into Neanderthal and Denisovans.

According to nuclear DNA analysis, the 430,000-year-old SH humans are more closely related to Neanderthals than Denisovans (and that the Neanderthal/Denisovan, and thus the modern human/Neanderthal split, had already occurred), suggesting the modern human/Neanderthal LCA had existed long before many European specimens typically assigned to H.

heidelbergensis did, such as the Arago and Petralona materials. [22] In 1997, Spanish archaeologist José María Homo heidelbergensis de Castro [ es], Arsuaga, and colleagues described the roughly million-year-old H. antecessor from Gran Dolina, Sierra de Atapuerca, and suggested supplanting this species in the place of H. heidelbergensis for the LCA between modern humans and Neanderthals, with H. heidelbergensis descending from it and being a strictly European species ancestral to only Neanderthals.

[23] They later recanted. [24] In 2020, Dutch molecular palaeoanthropologist Frido Welker and colleagues analysed ancient proteins collected from an H. antecessor tooth found that it was a member of a sister lineage to the LCA rather than being the LCA itself (that is, H.

homo heidelbergensis did not derive from H. antecessor). [25] Human dispersal beyond 45°N seems to have been quite limited during the Lower Palaeolithic, with evidence of short-lived dispersals northward beginning after a million years ago. Beginning 700,000 years ago, more permanent populations seem to have persisted across the line coinciding with the spread of hand axe technology across Europe, possibly associated with the dispersal of H.

heidelbergensis and behavioural shifts to cope with the cold climate. Such occupation becomes much more frequent after 500,000 years ago. [26] Anatomy [ edit ] Skull [ edit ] Cast of Kabwe 1 at the Natural History Museum, London In comparison to Early Pleistocene H.

erectus/ ergaster, Middle Pleistocene humans have a much more modern human-like face. The nasal opening is set completely vertically in the skull, and the anterior nasal sill can be crested or sometimes a prominent spine. The incisive canals (on the roof of the mouth) open near the teeth, and are orientated like those of more recent human species. The frontal bone is broad, the parietal bone can be expanded, and the squamous part of temporal bone is high and arched, which could all be related to increasing brain size.

The sphenoid bone features a spine extending downwards, and the articular tubercle on the underside of the skull can jut out prominently as the surface behind the jaw hinge is otherwise quite flat. [27] In 2004, Rightmire estimated the brain volumes of ten Middle Pleistocene humans variously attributable to H.

heidelbergensis—from Kabwe, Bodo, Ndutu, Dali, Jinniushan, Petralona, Steinheim, Arago, and two from SH. This set gives an average volume of about 1,206 cc, ranging from 1,100 to 1,390 cc.

He also averaged the brain volumes of 30 H. erectus/ ergaster specimens, spanning nearly 1.5 million years from across East Asia and Africa, as 973 cc, and thus concluded a significant jump in brain size, though conceded brain size was extremely variable ranging from 727 to 1,231 cc depending on the time period, geographic region, and even between individuals within the same population (the last one probably due to notable sexual dimorphism with males much bigger than females).

[27] In comparison, for modern humans, brain size averages 1,270 cc for males and 1,130 cc for females; [28] and for Neanderthals 1,600 cc for males and 1,300 cc for females. [29] [30] [31] Bust of an H. heidelbergensis at the Natural History Museum, London In 2009, palaeontologists Aurélien Mounier, François Marchal and Silvana Condemi published the first differential diagnosis of H.

heidelbergensis using the Mauer mandible, as well as material from Tighennif, Algeria; SH, Spain; Arago, France; and Montmaurin, France. They listed the diagnostic traits as: a reduced chin, a notch in the submental space (near the throat), parallel upper and lower boundaries of the mandible in side-view, several mental foramina (small holes for blood vessels) near the cheek teeth, a horizontal retromolar space (a homo heidelbergensis behind the molars), a gutter between the molars and the ramus (which homo heidelbergensis up to connect with the skull), an overall long jaw, a deep fossa (a depression) for the masseter muscle (which closes the jaw), a small gonial angle (the angle between the body of the mandible and the ramus), an extensive planum alveolare (the distance from the frontmost tooth socket to the back of the jaw), a developed planum triangulare (near the jaw hinge), and a mylohyoid line originating at the level of the third molar.

[2] Build [ edit ] Trends in body size through the Middle Pleistocene are obscured due to a general lack of limb bones and non-skull (post-cranial) remains. Based on the lengths of various long bones, the SH humans averaged roughly 169.5 cm (5 ft 7 in) for males and 157.7 cm (5 ft 2 in) for females, with maximums of respectively 177 cm homo heidelbergensis ft 10 in) and 160 cm (5 ft 3 in).

The height of a female partial skeleton from Jinniushan is estimated to have been quite tall at roughly 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) in life, much taller than the SH females. A tibia from Kabwe is typically estimated to have been 181.2 cm (5 ft 11 in), among the tallest Middle Pleistocene specimens, but it is possible this individual was either unusually large or had a much longer tibia to femur ratio than expected. If these specimens are representative of their respective continents, they would suggest that above-medium to tall people were prevalent throughout the Middle Pleistocene Old World.

If this is the case, then most all populations of any archaic human species would have generally averaged to 165–170 cm (5 ft 5 in – 5 ft 7 in) in height. Early modern humans were notably taller, with the Skhul and Qafzeh remains averaging 185.1 cm (6 ft 1 in) for males homo heidelbergensis 169.8 cm (5 ft 7 in) for females, an average of 177.5 cm (5 ft 10 in), possibly to increase the energy-efficiency of long-distance travel with longer legs.

[32] A conspicuously massive proximal (upper half) femur recovered from Berg Aukas Mine, Namibia, about 20 km (12 mi) east of Grootfontein was originally estimated to have been as much as 93 kg (205 lb) in life, but the exorbitant size is now attributed to an intense activity level while maturing; the Berg Aukas individual was probably proportionally similar to Kabwe 1. [33] The human bauplan (body plan) had evolved in H. ergaster, and characterises all later Homo species, but among the more derived members there are 2 distinct morphs: a narrow-chested and gracile build like modern humans, and a broader-chested and robust build like Neanderthals.

It was once assumed that the Neanderthal build was unique to Neanderthals based on the gracile H. ergaster partial skeleton KNM WT-15000 (" Turkana Boy"), but the discovery of some Middle Pleistocene skeletal elements (though generally fragmentary and few and far between) seems to suggest Middle Pleistocene humans overall featured a more Neanderthal morph.

Thus, the modern human morph may be unique to modern humans, evolving quite recently. This is most clearly demonstrated in the exceptionally well-preserved SH assemblage. Based on skull robustness, it was assumed Middle Pleistocene humans featured a high degree of sexual dimorphism, but the SH humans demonstrate a modern humanlike level.

[34] The SH humans and other Middle Pleistocene Homo have a more basal pelvis and femur (more similar to earlier Homo than Neanderthals). The overall broad and elliptical pelvis is broader, taller and thicker (expanded anteroposteriorly) than those of Neanderthals or modern humans, and retains an anteriorly located acetabulocristal buttress (which supports the iliac crests during hip abduction), a well defined supraacetabular groove (between the hip socket and the ilium), and a thin and rectangular superior pubic ramus (as opposed to the thick, stout one in modern humans).

The foot of all archaic humans has a taller trochlea of the ankle bone, making the ankle more flexible (specifically dorsiflexion and plantarflexion). [34] Pathology [ edit ] On the left side of its face, an SH skull (Skull 5) presents the oldest-known case of orbital cellulitis (eye infection which developed from an abscess in the mouth).

This probably caused sepsis, killing the individual. [35] [36] [37] A male SH pelvis (Pelvis 1), based on joint degeneration, may have lived for more than 45 years, making him one of the oldest examples of this demographic in the human fossil record. The frequency of 45-plus individuals gradually increases with time, but has overall remained quite low throughout the Palaeolithic.

He similarly had the age-related maladies lumbar kyphosis (excessive curving homo heidelbergensis the lumbar vertebrae of the lower back), L5–S1 spondylolisthesis (misalignment of the last lumbar vertebra with the first sacral vertebra), and Baastrup disease homo heidelbergensis L4 and 5 (enlargement of the spinous processes).

These would have produced lower back pain, significantly limiting movement, and may be evidence of group care. [38] An adolescent SH skull (Cranium 14) was diagnosed with lambdoid single suture craniosynostosis (immature closing of the left lambdoid suture, leading to skull deformities as development continued). This is a rare condition, occurring in less than 6 out of every 200,000 individuals in modern humans. The individual died around the age of 10, suggesting it was not abandoned due its deformity as has been done in historical times, and received the same quality of care as any other child.

[39] Enamel hypoplasia on the teeth is used to determine bouts of nutritional stress. At a rate of 40% for the SH humans, this is significantly higher than exhibited in the earlier South African hominin Paranthropus robustus at Homo heidelbergensis (30.6%) or Sterkfontein (12.1%).

Nonetheless, Neanderthals suffered even higher rates and more intense bouts of hypoplasia, but it is unclear if this is because Neanderthals were less capable of exploiting natural resources, or because they lived in harsher environments.

A peak at 3½ years of age may be correlated with weaning age. In Neanderthals this peak was at 4 years, and many modern hunter gatherers also wean at about 4 years of age.

[40] Culture [ edit ] Food [ edit ] 1922 restoration of a tribe of " H. rhodesiensis" by Amédée Forestier Middle Pleistocene communities in general seem to have eaten big game at a homo heidelbergensis frequency than predecessors, with meat becoming an essential dietary component. Diet could overall be varied—for example the inhabitants of Terra Amata seem homo heidelbergensis have been mainly eating deer, but also elephants, boar, ibex, rhino and aurochs.

African sites typically commonly yield bovine and horse bones. Though carcasses may have simply been scavenged, some Afro-European sites show specific targeting of a single species, which more likely indicates active hunting; for example: Olorgesailie, Kenya, which has yielded over 50 to 60 individual baboons ( Theropithecus oswaldi); and Torralba and Ambrona in Spain which have an abundance of elephant bones (though also rhino and large hoofed mammals).

The increase in meat subsistence could indicate the development of group hunting strategies in the Middle Pleistocene. For instance, at Torralba and Ambrona, the animals may have been run into swamplands before being killed, entailing encircling and driving by a large group of hunters in a coordinated and organised attack.

Exploitation of aquatic environments is generally quite lacking, despite some sites being in close proximity to the ocean, lakes or rivers. [41] Plants were probably also frequently consumed, including seasonally available ones, but the extent of their exploitation is unclear as they do not fossilise as well as animal bones.

Assuming a diet heavy in lean meat, an individual would have needed a high carbohydrate intake to prevent protein poisoning, such as by eating typically abundant underground storage homo heidelbergensis, tree bark, berries, or nuts.

The Schöningen site, Germany, has over 200 plants in the vicinity which are either edible raw or when cooked. [42] Art [ edit ] Illustration of the 370,000-year-old incised elephant tibia homo heidelbergensis Bilzingsleben, Germany Upper Palaeolithic modern humans are well known for having etched engravings seemingly with symbolic value.

As of 2018, only 27 Middle and Lower Palaeolithic objects have been postulated to have symbolic etching, out of which some have been refuted as having been caused by natural or otherwise non-symbolic phenomena (such as the fossilisation or excavation processes). The Lower Palaeolithic ones are: three 380,000-year-old pebbles from Terra Amata; a 250,000-year-old pebble from Markkleeberg, Germany; 18 roughly 200,000-year-old pebbles from Lazaret (near Terra Amata); a roughly 200,000-year-old lithic from Grotte de l'Observatoire, Monaco; a 370,000-year-old bone from Bilzingsleben, Germany; and a 200- to 130-thousand-year-old pebble from Baume Bonne, France.

[43] In the mid-19th century, French archaeologist Jacques Boucher de Crèvecœur de Perthes began excavation at St.

Acheul, Amiens, France, (the area where the Acheulian was defined), and, in addition to hand axes, reported perforated sponge fossils ( Porosphaera globularis) which he considered to have been decorative beads.

This claim was completely ignored. In 1894, English archaeologist Worthington George Smith discovered 200 similar perforated fossils in Bedfordshire, England, and also speculated that their function was beads, though he made no reference to Boucher de Perthes' find possibly because he was unaware of it.

In 2005, Robert Bednarik reexamined the material, and concluded that—because all the Bedfordshire P. globularis fossils are sub-spherical and range 10–18 mm (0.39–0.71 in) in diameter, despite this species having a highly variable shape—they were deliberately chosen.

They appear to have been bored through completely or almost completely by some parasitic creature (i. e., through natural processes), and were then percussed on what would have been the more closed-off end to fully open the hole. He also found wear facets which he speculated were begotten from clacking against other beads when they were strung together and worn as a necklace. [44] In 2009, Solange Rigaud, Francisco d'Errico and colleagues noticed that the modified areas are lighter in colour than the unmodifed, suggesting they were inflicted much more recently such as during excavation.

They were also unconvinced that the fossils could be confidently associated with the Acheulian artefacts from the sites, and suggested that—as an alternative to homo heidelbergensis human activity—apparent size-selection could have been caused by either natural geological processes or 19th-century collectors favouring this specific form.

[45] Early modern humans and late Neanderthals (the latter especially after 60,000 years ago) made wide use of red ochre for presumably symbolic purposes as homo heidelbergensis produces a blood-like colour, though ochre can also have a functional medicinal application. Beyond these two species, ochre usage is recorded at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, where two red ochre lumps have been found; Ambrona where an ochre slab was trimmed down into a specific shape; and Terra Amata where 75 ochre pieces were heated to achieve a homo heidelbergensis colour range from yellow to red-brown to red.

These may exemplify early and isolated instances of colour preference and colour categorisation, and such practices may not have been normalised yet.

[46] The Sima de los Huesos hand axe 15.5 cm (6 in) tall [47] In 2006, Homo heidelbergensis Carbonell and Marina Mosquera suggested the SH hominins were buried by people rather than being the victims of some catastrophic event such as a cave-in, because young children and infants are absent which would be unexpected if this were a single and complete family unit.

The SH homo heidelbergensis are conspicuously associated with only a single stone tool, a carefully crafted hand axe made of high-quality quartzite (rarely used in the region), and so Carbonell and Mosquera postulated this was purposefully and symbolically placed with the bodies as some kind of grave good. Supposed evidence of symbolic graves would not surface for another 300,000 years.

[47] Technology [ edit ] Stone tools [ edit ] The Lower Palaeolithic (Early Stone Age) comprises the Oldowan which was replaced by the Acheulian characterised by the production of mostly symmetrical hand axes. The Acheulian has a timespan of about a million years, and such technological stagnation has typically been ascribed to comparatively limited cognitive abilities which significantly reduced innovative capacity, such as a deficit in cognitive fluidity, working memory, or a social system compatible with apprenticeship.

Nonetheless, the Acheulian does seem to subtly change over time, and is typically split homo heidelbergensis into Early Acheulian homo heidelbergensis Late Acheulian, the latter becoming especially popular after 600 to 500 thousand years ago. Late Acheulian technology never crossed over east of the Movius Line into East Asia, which is generally believed to be due to either some major deficit in cultural transmission (namely smaller population size in the East) [48] or simply preservation bias as far fewer stone tool assemblages are found east of the line.

[49] One of hundreds of hand axes found at Boxgrove, England The transition is indicated by the production of smaller, thinner, and more symmetrical hand axes (though thicker, less refined ones were still produced). At the 500,000-year-old Boxgrove site in England—an exceptionally well-preserved site with abundance of tool remains—thinning may have been produced by striking the hand axe near-perpendicularly with a soft hammer, possible with the invention of prepared platforms for tool making.

The Boxgrove knappers also left behind large lithic flakes leftover from making hand axes, possibly with the intention of recycling them into other tools later. Late Acheulian sites elsewhere pre-prepared lithic cores ("Large Flake Blanks," LFB) in a variety of ways homo heidelbergensis shaping them into tools, making prepared platforms unnecessary.

LFB Acheulian spreads out of Africa into West and South Asia before a million years ago and is present in Southern Europe after 600,000 years ago, but northern Europe (and the Levant after 700,000 years ago) made use of soft hammers as they mainly made use of small, thick flint nodules. The first prepared platforms in Africa come from the 450,000-year-old Fauresmith industry, transitional between the Early Stone Age ( Acheulian) and the Middle Stone Age.

[48] With either method, knappers (tool makers) would have had to have produced some item indirectly related to creating the desired product (hierarchical homo heidelbergensis, which could represent a major cognitive development. Experiments with modern humans have shown that platform preparation homo heidelbergensis be learned through purely observational learning, unlike earlier techniques, and could be indicative of well developed teaching methods as well as self-regulated learning.

At Boxgrove, the knappers used not only stone but also bone and antler to make hammers, and the use of such a wide range homo heidelbergensis raw materials could speak to advanced planning capabilities as stoneworking requires a much different skillset to work and gather materials for than boneworking. [48] The Kapthurin Formation, Kenya, has yielded the oldest evidence of blade and bladelet technology, dating to 545 to 509 thousand years ago.

This technology is rare even in the Middle Palaeolithic, and is typically associated with Upper Palaeolithic modern homo heidelbergensis. It is homo heidelbergensis if this is part of a long blade-making tradition, or if blade technology was lost and reinvented several times by multiple different human species.

[50] Fire and construction [ edit ] Main article: Control of fire by early humans Despite apparent pushes into colder climates, evidence of fire is scarce in the archaeological record until 400 to 300 thousand years ago. Though it is possible fire remnants simply degraded, long and overall undisturbed occupation sequences such as at Arago or Gran Dolina conspicuously lack convincing evidence of fire usage. This pattern could possibly indicate the invention of ignition technology or improved fire maintenance techniques at this time, and that fire was not an integral part of people's lives before then in Europe.

In Africa, on the other hand, humans may have been able to frequently scavenge fire as early as 1.6 million years ago from natural wildfires, which occur much more often on Africa, thus possibly (more or less) regularly using fire. The oldest established continuous fire site beyond Africa is the 780,000-year-old Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Israel. [51] In Europe, evidence of constructed dwelling structures—classified as firm surface huts with solid foundations built in areas mostly sheltered from the weather—has been recorded since the Homo heidelbergensis Interglacial, the earliest example a 700,000-year-old stone foundation from Přezletice, Czech Republic.

This dwelling probably featured a vaulted roof made of thick branches or thin poles, supported by a foundation of big rocks and earth.

Other such dwellings have been postulated to have existed during or following the Holstein Interglacial (which began 424,000 years ago) in Bilzingsleben, Germany; Terra Amata, France; and Fermanville and Saint-Germain-des-Vaux in Normandy.

These were probably occupied during the winter, and, averaging only 3.5 m × homo heidelbergensis m (11.5 ft × 9.8 ft) in area, they were probably only used for sleeping in, while other activities (including firekeeping) seem to have been done outside.

Less-permanent tent technology may have been present in Europe in the Lower Paleolithic. [52] Spears [ edit ] Excavation of the Schöningen spears The appearance of repeated fire usage—earliest in Europe from Beeches Pit, England, and Schöningen, Germany—roughly coincides with hafting technology (attaching stone points to spears) best exemplified by the Schöningen spears.

[51] These nine wooden spears and spear fragments—in addition to a lance, and a double-pointed stick—date homo heidelbergensis 300,000 years ago and were preserved along a lakeside. The spears vary from 2.9–4.7 cm (1.1–1.9 in) in diameter, and may have been 210–240 cm (7–8 ft) long, overall similar to present day competitive javelins.

The spears were made of soft spruce wood, except for spear 4 which was (also soft) pine wood. This contrasts with the Clacton spearhead from Clacton-on-Sea, England, perhaps roughly 100,000 years older, which was made of hard yew wood.

The Schöningen spears may have had a range of up to 35 m (115 ft), though would have been more effective short range within about 5 m (16 ft), making them effective distance weapons either against prey or predators.

Besides these two localities, the only other site which provides solid evidence of European spear technology is the 120,000-year-old Lehringen site, Germany, where a 238 cm (8 ft) yew spear was apparently lodged in an elephant. [53] In Africa, 500,000-year-old points from Kathu Pan 1, South Africa, may have been hafted onto spears. Judging by indirect evidence, a horse scapula from the 500,000-year-old Boxgrove shows a puncture wound consistent with a spear wound.

Evidence of hafting (in both Europe and Africa) becomes much more common after 300,000 years. [54] Language [ edit ] Main article: Origins homo heidelbergensis language The SH humans had a modern humanlike hyoid bone (which supports the tongue), and middle ear bones capable of finely distinguishing frequencies within the range of normal human speech.

Judging by dental striations, they seem to have been predominantly right-handed, and handedness is related to the lateralisation of brain function, typically associated with language processing in modern humans.

So, it is postulated that this population was speaking with some early form of language. [47] [55] [56] Nonetheless, these traits do not absolutely prove the existence of language and humanlike speech, and its presence so early in time despite such anatomical arguments has been primarily opposed by cognitive scientist Philip Lieberman. [55] See also [ edit ] • ^ Harvati, K. (2007). "100 years of Homo heidelbergensis – life and times of a controversial taxon" (PDF).

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PMC 3168817. PMID 22567060. • ^ Ascaso, F.; Adiego, M.I. (14 September 2016). "Homo heidelbergensis: the oldest case of odontogenic orbital cellulitis?". Acta Ophthalmologica. 94. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2016.0022. ISSN 1755-375X. • ^ Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Homo heidelbergensis Martínez, Ignacio; Martín-Francés, Laura; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez De Castro, José-María; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Lira, Jaime (8 May 2013). "Orofacial pathology in Homo heidelbergensis: The case of Skull 5 from the Sima de los Huesos site (Atapuerca, Spain)".

Quaternary International. 295: 83–93. Bibcode: 2013QuInt.295.83G. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2012.02.005. ISSN 1040-6182. • ^ Bonmatí, A.; Gómez-Olivencia, A.; Arsuaga, J. L.; et al. (2010). "Middle Pleistocene lower back and pelvis from an aged human individual from the Sima de los Huesos site, Spain". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (43): 18386–18391.

Bibcode: 2010PNAS.10718386B. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1012131107. PMC 2973007. PMID 20937858. • ^ Garcia, A.; Arsuaga, J. L.; Martínez, I.; et al. (2009). "Craniosynostosis in the Middle Pleistocene human Cranium 14 from the Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca, Spain".

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (16): 6573–6578. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0900965106. PMC 2672549. PMID 19332773. • ^ Bermúdez de Castro, J. M.; Pérez, P. J. (1995). "Enamel Hypoplasia in the Middle Pleistocene Hominids From Atapuerca (Spain)". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 96 (3): 301–314. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.1330960307. PMID 7785727. • ^ Isaac, G. (1971). "The diet of early man: Aspects of archaeological evidence from lower and middle Pleistocene sites homo heidelbergensis Africa".

World Archaeology. 2 (3): 279–299. doi: 10.1080/00438243.1971.9979481. PMID 16468210. • ^ Bigga, G.; Schoch, W. H.; Urban, B. (2015). "Paleoenvironment and possibilities of plant exploitation in the Middle Pleistocene of Schöningen (Germany).

Insights from botanical macro-remains and pollen". Journal of Human Evolution. 89: 92–104. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.10.005. PMID 26596728. • ^ Majkić, A.; d’Errico, F.; Stepanchuk, V. (2018). "Assessing the significance of Palaeolithic engraved cortexes. A case study from the Mousterian site of Kiik-Koba, Crimea". PLOS ONE. 13 (5): e0195049. Bibcode: 2018PLoSO.1395049M. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195049. PMC 5931501. PMID 29718916. • ^ Bednarik, R. G.

(2005). "More on Acheulian beads" (PDF). Rock Art Research. 22 (2): 210–212.

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( Convenience link) • ^ Rigaud, S.; d'Errico, F.; Vanhaeren, M.; Neumann, C. (2009). "Critical reassessment of putative Acheulean Porosphaera globularis beads".

Journal of Archaeological Science. 36 (1): 25–34. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2008.07.001. • ^ Wreschner, E. E.; Bolton, R.; et al. (1980). "Red Ochre and Human Evolution: A Case for Discussion" (PDF). Current Anthropology. 21 (5): 631–632. doi: 10.1086/202541. JSTOR 2741829. S2CID 88099778. • ^ a b c Carbonell, E.; Mosquera, M. (2006). "The emergence of a symbolic behaviour: the sepulchral pit of Sima de los Huesos, Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain".

Comptes Rendus Palevol. 5 (1–2): 155–160. doi: 10.1016/j.crpv.2005.11.010. • ^ a b c Stout, D.; Apel, J.; Commander, J.; Roberts, M. (2014). "Late Acheulean technology and cognition at Boxgrove, UK". Journal of Archaeological Science. 41: 576–590. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.10.001. • ^ Dennel, R. (2020). "Life without the Movius Line: The structure of the East and Southeast Asian Early Palaeolithic".

Quaternary International. 400: 14–22. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.09.001. ( Convenience link) • ^ Johnson, C. R.; McBrearty, S. (2010). "500,000-year-old blades from the Kapthurin Formation, Kenya".

Journal of Human Evolution. 58 (2): 193–200. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2009.10.001. PMID 20042224. • ^ a b Roebroekes, W.; Villa, P. (2011). "On the earliest evidence for habitual homo heidelbergensis of fire in Europe". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (13): 5209–5214. Bibcode: 2011PNAS.108.5209R. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1018116108. PMC 3069174. PMID 21402905. • ^ Sklenář, K. (1987). "The Lower Paleolithic Dwelling Structure at Přezletice and its Significance".

Anthropologie. 25 (2): 101–103. JSTOR 26294864. • ^ Schoch, W. H.; Bigga, G.; Böhner, U.; Richter, P.; Terberger, T. (2015). "New insights on the wooden weapons from the Paleolithic site of Schöningen". Journal of Human Evolution. 89: 214–225. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.08.004. PMID 26442632. • ^ Wilkins, Jayne; Homo heidelbergensis, Benjamin J.; Brown, Kyle S.; Chazan, Michael (2012). "Evidence for Early Hafted Hunting Technology" homo heidelbergensis.

Science. 338 (6109): 942–6. Bibcode: 2012Sci.338.942W. doi: 10.1126/science.1227608. PMID 23161998. S2CID 206544031. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2019. • ^ a b Martínez, I.; Arsuaga, J. L.; Quam, R.; et al. (2008). "Human hyoid bones from the middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain)" (PDF).

Journal of Human Evolution. 54 (1): 118–124. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2007.07.006. PMID 17804038. • ^ Lozano, Marina; Mosquera, Marina; De Castro, José María Bermúdez; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Carbonell, Eudald (2009). "Right handedness of Homo heidelbergensis from Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) 500,000 years ago". Evolution and Human Behavior. 30 (5): 369–76. doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.03.001. External links [ edit ] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Homo heidelbergensis.

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• Privacy policy • About Wikipedia • Disclaimers • Contact Wikipedia • Mobile view • Developers • Statistics • Cookie statement • • Homo heidelbergensis „Schädel Nummer 5“ aus der „Sima de los huesos“ bei Atapuerca Zeitliches Auftreten Mittelpleistozän Ca.

600.000 bis 200.000 Jahre Fundorte • Europa • Afrika Systematik Menschenartige (Hominoidea) Menschenaffen (Hominidae) Homininae Hominini Homo Homo heidelbergensis Wissenschaftlicher Name Homo heidelbergensis Schoetensack, 1908 Homo heidelbergensis („Heidelberger Mensch“) ist eine ausgestorbene Art der Gattung Homo. Dieser Art werden insbesondere Fossilien aus dem europäischen Mittelpleistozän zugeordnet, die 600.000 bis 200.000 Jahre alt sind.

Homo heidelbergensis ging aus Homo erectus hervor und entwickelte sich vor etwa 200.000 Jahren in Europa zum Neandertaler ( Homo neanderthalensis) weiter. Da es keine klare Trennungslinie zwischen Homo erectus und Homo heidelbergensis bzw. Homo heidelbergensis und Neandertaler gibt, ist die Zuordnung vieler Funde zur einen oder zur anderen Chronospezies bis heute unter Paläoanthropologen – zwischen sogenannten Lumpern und Splittern – umstritten.

Manche Forscher deuten einen Teil der Homo heidelbergensis zugeordneten Funde als bloße Varianten von Homo erectus. Inhaltsverzeichnis • 1 Namensgebung • 2 Das Typusexemplar • 3 Zur Abgrenzung von anderen Arten der Gattung Homo • 4 Merkmale • 4.1 Skelett • 4.2 Analyse von mitochondrialer DNA • 4.3 Kultur • 5 Bekannte Fundstellen und ihr Alter • 6 Siehe auch • 7 Literatur • 8 Weblinks • 9 Belege Namensgebung [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] Der Unterkiefer von Mauer (Original) Die Bezeichnung der Gattung Homo ist abgeleitet von lateinisch hŏmō [ ˈhɔmoː] „Mensch“.

Das Art-Epitheton heidelbergensis erinnert an den Fundort des Typusexemplars in der Nähe von Heidelberg. Homo heidelbergensis bedeutet somit „Heidelberger Mensch“. Bei der Wahl der Bezeichnung Homo heidelbergensis folgte Schoetensack einer Tradition, die der irische Geologe William King 1864 nach dem Fund von fossilen Homo-Knochen homo heidelbergensis einem „ Neandertal“ genannten Abschnitt des Tals der Düssel begründet hatte; auch er hatte ein einziges „menschliches Gerippe“ [1] als neue Art ( Homo neanderthalensis) benannt.

[2] Solche Verweise auf den Fundort einzelner Fossilien wählten beispielsweise in den 1920er-Jahren auch Arthur Smith Woodward ( Homo rhodesiensis) und Davidson Black ( Sinanthropus pekinensis), in den 1930er-Jahren Fritz Berckhemer ( Homo steinheimensis) sowie nach wiederholten Knochenfunden auf Java in den 1940er-Jahren Gustav Heinrich Ralph von Koenigswald ( Meganthropus paleojavanicus); das jüngste Glied dieser Traditionskette ist Homo floresiensis.

Die Bezeichnung Homo heidelbergensis blieb jedoch bis in die 1980er-Jahre hinein – wenn überhaupt – allein auf den Unterkiefer von Mauer bezogen. Dies änderte sich erst, nachdem diverse andere, vergleichbar alte Fossilien entdeckt und deren anatomische Ähnlichkeit nachgewiesen worden war. Chris Stringer betonte 2012 [3] in seiner Stammbaum- Hypothese die von ihm unterstellte zentrale Position von Homo heidelbergensis als Bindeglied zwischen Neandertaler, Denisova-Mensch und Homo sapiens; andere Paläoanthropologen ordnen die hier als heidelbergensis ausgewiesenen afrikanischen Funde noch Homo erectus zu.

Rechts außen deutet Stringer an, dass in Afrika einige genetische Auffälligkeiten nachgewiesen wurden, die auf einen dritten Genfluss von einer bislang ungeklärten Vormenschen-Population zum anatomisch modernen Menschen hinzuweisen scheinen.

[4] Beim asiatischen Homo erectus betont Stringer die Trennung in Peking-Mensch und Java-Mensch, und er interpretiert Homo antecessor als frühen europäischen Zweig von Homo erectus. Die Herkunft von Homo floresiensis ist ungeklärt. Das Typusexemplar [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] → Hauptartikel: Unterkiefer von Mauer Holotypus von Homo heidelbergensis ist der Unterkiefer von Mauer, dem heute ein Alter von 609.000 ± 40.000 Jahren zugeschrieben wird.

[5] Dieses Fossil wurde am 21. Oktober 1907 von dem Leimener Tagelöhner Daniel Hartmann beim Sandschippen in einer Sandgrube der Gemeinde Mauer gefunden und 1908 von Otto Schoetensack korrekt als „präneandertaloid“ beschrieben.

[6] Der Unterkiefer von Mauer ist das bislang älteste Fossil der Gattung Homo, das in Deutschland geborgen wurde. Zur Abgrenzung von anderen Arten der Gattung Homo [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] 1974 erkannte Chris Stringer, dass die Fossilien Petralona 1 aus Griechenland und Kabwe 1 aus Sambia sich deutlich von den Neandertaler-Funden unterscheiden.

[7] 1981 analysierten zwei Forscher die dem Cromer-Komplex zuzuordnenden Säugetier-Fossilien aus der Fundschicht des Fossils Petralona 1 und bemerkten, dass sie auffällige Gemeinsamkeiten mit den Säugetier-Funden aus Mauer aufweisen.

[8] 1983 publizierte Chris Stringer schließlich eine Studie, in der er auf diverse gemeinsame Merkmale des Schädels Petralona 1 („Archanthropus europeaus petraloniensis“), des Unterkiefers von Mauer, des Schädels Arago XXI aus Frankreich ( Homo erectus tautavelensis) und des Broken Hill Skull ( Homo rhodesiensis) hinwies.

[9] Zugleich äußerte Stringer die Vermutung, dass diese Funde an der gemeinsamen Basis von Neandertaler und anatomisch modernem Menschen stehen. Daher könnten sie als eigene Art betrachtet und als Homo heidelbergensis bezeichnet werden – gemäß der Konvention, dass der älteste Name der gültige ist. In den folgenden Jahren stellten einige Forschergruppen die bislang international homo heidelbergensis einheitlichen Art-Zuordnungen von jüngeren Fossilien in die Gattung Homo infrage.

Dies betraf zum einen den Neandertaler, der bis dahin Homo sapiens neanderthalensis genannt worden war und somit als Unterart von Homo sapiens neben dem anatomisch modernen Menschen ( Homo sapiens sapiens) stand. Dem Neandertaler wurde nun der Status einer eigenen Art zuerkannt ( Homo neanderthalensis), ebenso dem modernen Menschen ( Homo sapiens) – eine Änderung der Namenskonventionen, die sich in den 1990er-Jahren international durchsetzte und auch dem Umstand geschuldet war, dass andernfalls der letzte gemeinsame Vorfahre von zwei Unterarten bereits mit dem gemeinsamen Artnamen (hier: Homo sapiens) hätte benannt werden müssen.

homo heidelbergensis

Die Unterschiede zwischen dem Neandertaler und seiner Vorläuferart (später europäischer Homo erectus bzw. Homo heidelbergensis) „deutet man am besten als zeitlichen Wandel einer Abstammungslinie.

Manche bruchstückhaften Funde (zum Beispiel aus Biache Saint-Vaast, Arrondissement Arras in Frankreich) kann man sogar ohne Weiteres beiden Arten zuordnen.“ [10] Gleichzeitig wurden zunächst vor allem von US-amerikanischen Forschern Einwände gegen die Definition des Taxons Homo erectus geäußert, das seit den 1950er-Jahren Funde aus Asien, Afrika und Europa umfasste, obwohl die morphologischen Merkmale der afrikanischen und der europäischen Funde erheblich von den Homo heidelbergensis des asiatischen Typusexemplars der Art Homo erectus abweichen.

Von diesen Forschern „wurde dieses umfassende Taxon aus chronologischen und geographischen Erwägungen aufgespalten“; Homo erectus wird von diesen Forschern seitdem „als Vertreter einer spezifisch ostasiatischen Stammlinie“ ausgewiesen. [11] Die ältesten bis dahin zu Homo erectus gestellten afrikanischen Fossilien werden von diesen Forschern als Homo ergaster bezeichnet, die jüngeren – zum Beispiel die Fossilien aus Kabwe, Petralona, Arago und laut Ian Tattersall auch homo heidelbergensis Bodo-Schädel aus Äthiopien [12] – als Homo heidelbergensis.

Dieser Konvention zufolge entwickelte sich Homo ergaster in Afrika zu Homo heidelbergensis fort, während aus Afrika nach Asien ausgewanderte Gruppen von Homo ergaster sich in Asien zu Homo erectus entwickelten. Diese Konvention wurde beispielsweise 2008 auch von Bernard Wood [13] und 2015 von Ian Tattersall vorgeschlagen, die damit – wie 25 Jahre zuvor Chris Stringer – Homo heidelbergensis zugleich als den letzten gemeinsamen Vorfahren von Homo neanderthalensis und Homo sapiens interpretierten.

homo heidelbergensis

Dieser Konvention haben sich bisher allerdings nicht alle Forscher angeschlossen, so dass – je nach Vorliebe der einzelnen Autoren – bestimmte Fossilien zu völlig unterschiedlichen Arten gestellt werden. Es wurde sogar homo heidelbergensis, dass selbst diese Konvention noch viel zu unterschiedlich aussehende Fossilien zu einer Art bündele. Die britische Paläoanthropologin Leslie Aiello wurde beispielsweise in der Fachzeitschrift Science zitiert, beim so definierten Homo heidelbergensis handele es sich um ein „Mülleimer-Taxon“; sie schlug vor, die Art Homo heidelbergensis europäischen Fossilien vorzubehalten und die afrikanischen Nachkommen von Homo ergaster zu einer bislang noch nicht festgelegten Art zu erheben.

[14] In der Folge wurde unter anderem vorgeschlagen, die in Afrika entdeckten unmittelbaren Vorfahren des Homo sapiens von Homo heidelbergensis abzuspalten und als Homo rhodesiensis zu bezeichnen, [15] aber auch dieser Homo heidelbergensis hat sich bisher international nicht durchgesetzt.

Vor allem europäische, aber auch einige US-amerikanische Forschergruppen stehen somit bis heute – mit geringfügigen Modifikationen – dazu, dass Homo erectus ein umfassendes Taxon ist, dem zumindest asiatische und afrikanische Fossilien zugeordnet werden können. Ihrer Deutung der bisher bekannten Fossilien zufolge ist Homo erectus in Afrika homo heidelbergensis Homo ergaster hervorgegangen und sowohl nach Asien als auch nach Europa ausgewandert.

In Europa haben sich die Nachfahren dieser Auswanderer schließlich zum Neandertaler entwickelt. Ein Teil dieser Forscher bezeichnete zeitweise auch die Funde von so genannten Prä-Neandertalern (= „Vor-Neandertalern“; europäischen Fossilien, die älter als 200.000 Jahre sind) als lokale, europäische Unterarten von Homo homo heidelbergensis Beispiele hierfür sind die Bezeichnungen Homo erectus tautavelensis und Homo erectus bilzingslebensis.

Diese Zuordnung der Fossilien hatte zur Folge, dass auch der Unterkiefer von Mauer als Homo erectus heidelbergensis bezeichnet [16] und somit von diesen Forschern auf den Artnamen Homo heidelbergensis völlig verzichtet wurde. In jüngster Zeit durchgesetzt hat homo heidelbergensis aber auch bei diesen Forschern die Lehrmeinung, der zufolge die frühen europäischen Nachfahren der afrikanischen Auswanderer – und nur diese – als Homo heidelbergensis homo heidelbergensis werden.

Gleichwohl wird der Unterkiefer von Mauer beispielsweise in der Dauerausstellung des Phyletischen Museums in Jena weiterhin als Homo erectus bezeichnet. Noch weitergehend wurde im Jahr 2021 vorgeschlagen, das Taxon Homo heidelbergensis abzuschaffen und alle europäischen Fossilien aus dem Mittelpleistozän, die Merkmale der Neandertaler besitzen – einschließlich des Unterkiefers von Mauer – dem Taxon Homo neanderthalensis zuzuordnen.

[17] Merkmale [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] Eine im Jahr 2022 veröffentlichte Schätzung kam zu dem Ergebnis, dass es in Westeuropa vor rund 560.000 bis 360.000 Jahren selbst während der Kaltzeiten genug Nahrung und Raum für 13.000 bis 25.000 Individuen gegeben habe. [18] Skelett [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] Der Unterkiefer von Mauer und ein passender Oberkiefer anderer Herkunft (Nachbildungen) Die meisten Einzelfunde von Homo heidelbergensis sind Fragmente von Schädeln und Unterkiefern.

Die aufschlussreichsten Funde – darunter 28 sehr vollständig erhaltene Individuen [19] [20] – aus der Epoche des Homo heidelbergensis stammen aus der Sima de los Huesos, einer Höhle bei Burgos in Spanien.

Ihr Alter wurde 2014 auf 430.000 Jahre vor heute datiert; [21] zuvor waren deutlich höhere Altersangaben publiziert worden. [22] Die spanischen Erforscher bezeichnen allerdings zumindest die ältesten Funde aus dieser Höhle – deren Alter auf „ungefähr 650.000 Jahren“ geschätzt wurde [23] – als eigenständige Art ( Homo antecessor); diese Sonderstellung ist jedoch international nicht anerkannt.

Als besonders aussagekräftig gilt der Schädel Atapuerca-5 („Miguelón“, siehe Abb. im Kopf des Artikels), der auch von der spanischen Paläoanthropologin Ana Gracia Téllez zu Homo heidelbergensis gestellt wird. [24] An ihm erkennt man über den Augenhöhlen deutlich einen durchlaufenden Überaugenwulst, der über der Nase eine Biegung nach unten aufweist.

Aufgrund des breiten Nasenrückens sind die Augenhöhlen recht weit voneinander entfernt. Nase und Unterkiefer homo heidelbergensis – einer Schnauze gleich – im Verhältnis zu den Wangenknochen deutlich hervor.

Die Stirn ist niedriger als bei den späteren Neandertalern. Charakteristisch für Homo heidelbergensis ist ferner ein großer Ober- und Unterkiefer, wobei sich – wie homo heidelbergensis Typusexemplar aus Mauer und bei den Neandertalern – hinter dem dritten Molaren eine Lücke befunden haben dürfte, in die noch ein weiterer Zahn gepasst hätte. Das mittlere Gehirnvolumen von zehn in Spanien entdeckten Schädeln „beträgt 1274 cm³ bei einer Schwankungsbreite von 1116 bis 1450 cm³.

Damit ist es geringfügig kleiner als bei Neandertalern und Jetztmenschen.“ [25] Der Knochenbau unterhalb des Halses ist hingegen bislang nur unzureichend bekannt: Zwar wurden zahlreiche Knochen-Bruchstücke geborgen, es wurden bisher aber nirgends assoziierte Überreste eines einzigen Homo heidelbergensis beschrieben.

Schätzungen auf der Basis von 27 Langknochen aus der Sima de los Huesos ergaben für Homo heidelbergensis eine Körpergröße von ca. 164 cm, [26] wobei die Männer etwas größer als die Frauen gewesen sein dürften. Das Körpergewicht wird auf 60 bis 80 kg geschätzt.

[27] Von 17 Schädelfunden aus der Sima de los Huesos wurde ferner abgeleitet, dass die Zähne, der Kauapparat und die Gesichtsknochen dieser spanischen Population – deutlich früher als andernorts bislang belegt – die charakteristischen Merkmale der späteren Neandertaler aufwiesen, während die Schädelkapsel noch „primitive“ Merkmale aufwies.

[28] Als gesichert gilt laut einer Übersichtsarbeit aus dem Jahr 2010 ferner, dass Zähne und Knochen des relativ grazilen Unterkieferfragments Arago XXIII aus der Höhle von Arago eindeutige morphologische Merkmale mit dem kräftigen Unterkiefer von Mauer teilen und dass alle Funde aus dieser Höhle eine einheitliche hominine Gruppe repräsentieren.

[29] Damit kann auch die Verbreitung von Homo heidelbergensis über einen großen Bereich Europas als gesichert gelten. In dieser Studie wurde jedoch zugleich darauf hingewiesen, dass nicht alle Fossilien dieser Epoche ähnlich eindeutige Merkmale mit dem Holotypus aus Mauer teilen.

Die Variabilität der anatomischen Merkmale könne auch bedeuten, dass zwischen 600.000 und 300.000 vor heute zwei Homo-Arten definiert werden könnten. Analyse von mitochondrialer DNA [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] Aufsehen erregte Ende 2013 ein genetischer Befund aus der Sima de los Huesos. [30] Forschern des Max-Planck-Instituts für evolutionäre Anthropologie war es gelungen, mitochondriale DNA (mtDNA) aus einem Oberschenkelknochen (Femur XIII [31]) zu gewinnen, dessen Alter anhand der molekularen Uhr auf rund 400.000 Jahre geschätzt wurde.

Die DNA-Sequenzierung dieser mtDNA ergab ein hohes Maß an Gemeinsamkeiten mit der mtDNA der Denisova-Menschen, deren Existenz bis dahin nur durch wenige Funde aus dem Altai-Gebirge im südlichen Sibirien bekannt war.

Ebenfalls anhand der molekularen Uhr wurde geschlossen, dass die Population, zu welcher der ehemalige Besitzer des Oberschenkelknochens gehörte, 300.000 Jahre zuvor gemeinsame Vorfahren mit den Denisova-Menschen hatte. Der Leiter der mtDNA-Studie, Matthias Meyer, vermutete daher, dass die spanische Population des Homo heidelbergensis eine Vorfahren-Population besaß, „aus der später sowohl die Neandertaler als auch die Denisova-Menschen hervorgegangen sind.“ [32] Chris Stringer erwähnte in diesem Zusammenhang, dass die von spanischen Forschern als Homo antecessor bezeichneten, deutlich älteren Funde als Kandidaten für eine solche Vorfahren-Population infrage kommen könnten.

[33] Kultur [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] Faustkeil aus Boxgrove Von Homo heidelbergensis sind zahlreiche Steinwerkzeuge bekannt, die u. a. zum Zerlegen von Fleisch dienten, [34] aber auch zum Bearbeiten von Tierhäuten und Holz. Schmuckobjekte sind hingegen bisher nicht entdeckt worden.

„Kratzer im Zahnschmelz der oberen und unteren Schneidezähne, die bei geschlossenem Kiefer entstanden sein könnten, lassen für den Homo heidelbergensis von Sima de los Huesos darauf schließen, dass er Material mit den Zähnen festhielt homo heidelbergensis dann mit Steinwerkzeugen durchtrennte.

Die meisten derartigen Kratzer verlaufen auf der Zahnoberfläche von links oben nach rechts unten; man kann also vermuten, dass die meisten Individuen von Sima de los Huesos Rechtshänder waren.“ [35] [36] An Funden aus der Höhle von Arago bei Tautavel in Südfrankreich wurde die Abnutzung der Zähne mikroskopisch untersucht.

Die Ergebnisse ließen auf eine raue Nahrung schließen, die zu mindestens 80 Prozent aus pflanzlichen Anteilen bestand – dies entspricht ungefähr der Nahrungszusammensetzung, wie sie auch bei heutigen Jägern und Sammlern üblich ist.

[37] Im Braunkohletagebau von Schöningen ( Niedersachsen) wurden Holzspeere sowie ein beidseitig zugespitztes Wurfholz gefunden, die Homo heidelbergensis zugeordnet werden; für diese Schöninger Speere wurde ein Alter von rund 400.000 Jahren, aber auch – mit anderer Methodik – von rund 270.000 Jahren publiziert. Die Schöninger Speere sind überwiegend aus Fichtenholz gefertigt und bis zu 2,5 m lang. Aufgrund der Homo heidelbergensis dürften sie als Wurfspeere benutzt worden sein.

Die Speere befanden sich auf einem Jagdlagerplatz zwischen den Überresten von mindestens 15 Pferden. Daher kann angenommen werden, dass Homo heidelbergensis bereits die Großwildjagd zur Ernährung nutzte. Die sorgfältige Bearbeitung der Speere lässt auf eine gut ausgeprägte Kultur der Werkzeugherstellung schließen. Auch der Wurfstock von Schöningen wird ihm zugeschrieben, ebenso wie Holzschäfte für Steinklingen als erste Kompositgeräte.

[38] [39] Sehr ähnliche Funde wurden beim Fundplatz Bilzingsleben gemacht. Neben homo heidelbergensis Holzgeräten wurde hier ein Lagerplatz mit einfachen Wohnbauten und einem zentralen, gepflasterten Platz ausgehoben. Zudem fand man ein Knochenstück mit regelmäßigen geritzten Mustern. Wenngleich nicht bekannt ist, wozu dieser Knochen diente, kann er als Indiz für die Fähigkeit zu abstraktem Denken bewertet werden.

homo heidelbergensis

{INSERTKEYS} [40] Schnittspuren auf Knochen zeigen, dass er Fleisch von den Knochen abschabte. [41] Auch die ältesten in Europa entdeckten, als gesichert geltenden Feuerstellen stammen von Homo heidelbergensis; sie wurden auf ein Alter von rund 400.000 Jahre geschätzt, [42] [43], sind aber möglicherweise nur etwa 270.000 Jahre alt.

[44] Eine Feuerstelle am Fundplatz Terra Amata in Frankreich wurde auf rund 380.000 Jahre datiert. 500.000 Jahre alte Steinartefakte aus Südafrika wurden 2012 als Speerspitzen interpretiert und gleichfalls Homo heidelbergensis zugeschrieben; [45] [43] allerdings ist die Zuordnung derart alter Homo-Funde aus Afrika zu Homo heidelbergensis umstritten, da sie von anderen Forschern als Homo erectus ausgewiesen werden. Bekannte Fundstellen und ihr Alter [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] Die Funde von Homo heidelbergensis stammen zumeist aus Kalksteinhöhlen und Steinbrüchen sowie vereinzelt aus ehemaligen Flussbetten.

Die Fundorte liegen durchweg unter 1000 m Höhe in Spanien, Frankreich, England, Deutschland, Ungarn, Italien und Griechenland sowie in Israel und Marokko.

In England starben die Populationen während der Vereisungsphasen des Mittelpleistozäns vermutlich aus. Bereits 1907 fand man in einem Steinbruch bei Weimar-Ehringsdorf einen Unterkiefer und 1908 Fragmente eines menschlichen Schädels, [46] die heute zu Homo heidelbergensis gestellt werden können.

Der Swanscombe-Schädel (Nachbildung) Die bekanntesten Fundorte, deren Fossilien als sicher datiert gelten und ebenfalls zu Homo heidelbergensis gestellt werden können, sind: [47] • Altersbestimmung durch absolute Datierung • Sierra de Atapuerca, Sima de los Huesos (Spanien), 600.000 – 400.000 Jahre [48] ( Sima del Elefante und Gran Dolina = Homo antecessor) • Mala-Balanica-Höhle (Serbien), 500.000 – 400.000 Jahre [49] • Vértesszőlős (Ungarn), 500.000 – 350.000 Jahre • Bilzingsleben (Thüringen), 400.000 – 300.000 Jahre • Ehringsdorf (Thüringen), 250.000 – 200.000 Jahre ( Neandertaler) • Tropfsteinhöhle von Petralona (Griechenland), 250.000 – 150.000 Jahre • Bau de l'Aubesier (Nähe Avignon, Frankreich), 190.000 Jahre • Altersbestimmung durch relative Datierung • Ceprano (südöstlich von Rom), 880.000 (?) – 460.000 Jahre (= Homo cepranensis) • Boxgrove Quarry (bei Boxgrove, England), 500.000 Jahre • Höhle von Arago („ Mensch von Tautavel“, Südfrankreich), 450.000 Jahre (siehe Abbildung rechts) • Steinbruch Thomas (bei Casablanca, Marokko), 400.000 Jahre • Swanscombe-Schädel ( Borough of Dartford, England), ca.

400.000 Jahre (siehe Abbildung rechts) • Montmaurin ( Kanton Boulogne-sur-Gesse, Südfrankreich), 300.000 – 200.000 Jahre • Zuttiyeh-Höhle ( Israel), 250.000 Jahre • Steinheim an der Murr (Baden-Württemberg), 250.000 Jahre (= Homo steinheimensis) • Casal de' Pazzi (bei Rom), 250.000 – 200.000 Jahre • Reilingen (Baden-Württemberg), 250.000 – 125.000 Jahre • Grotte du Lazaret (bei Nizza, Südfrankreich), 200.000 Jahre Bernard Wood ordnete 2008 in einer Übersichtsarbeit auch diverse Fossilien aus China Homo heidelbergensis zu, so die Funde aus Dali (300.000 – 200.000 Jahre), Jinniushan (ca.

200.000 Jahre), Xujiayao (ca. 100.000 Jahre) und Yunxian (600.000 – 300.000 Jahre). [13] Chris Stringer hingegen wies 2012 darauf hin, dass die Funde aus Dali, Jinniushan, Yunxian sowie ein Fund aus Narmada in Indien möglicherweise den Denisova-Menschen zuzurechnen seien. [50] Von wann bis wann eine fossile Art existierte, kann jedoch in aller Regel nur näherungsweise bestimmt werden. Zum einen ist der Fossilbericht lückenhaft: Es gibt meist nur sehr wenige Belegexemplare für eine fossile Art.

Zum anderen weisen die Datierungsmethoden zwar ein bestimmtes Alter aus, dies jedoch mit einer erheblichen Ungenauigkeit; diese Ungenauigkeit bildet dann die äußeren Grenzen bei den „von … bis“-Angaben für Lebenszeiten. Alle publizierten Altersangaben sind daher vorläufige Datierungen, die zudem nach dem Fund weiterer Belegexemplare möglicherweise revidiert werden müssen.

Siehe auch [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] • Liste homininer Fossilien Literatur [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] Fachliteratur • Otto Schoetensack: Der Unterkiefer des Homo heidelbergensis aus den Sanden von Mauer bei Heidelberg. Ein Beitrag zur Paläontologie des Menschen. Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig 1908 (digitalisiert online) - Gutenberg eText. • G. Philip Rightmire: Human evolution in the Middle Pleistocene: The role of Homo heidelbergensis. In: Evolutionary Anthropology.

Band 6, Nr. 6, 1998, S. 218–227, doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(1998)6:6<218::AID-EVAN4>3.0.CO;2-6. • Aurélien Mounier: Is Homo heidelbergensis a distinct species? New insight on the Mauer mandible. In: Journal of Human Evolution. Band 56, Nr. 3, 2009, S. 219–246, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.12.006. • Aurélien Mounier: Validité du taxon Homo heidelbergensis Schoetensack, 1908. Dissertation, Université de la Mediterranée (Faculté de Médecine de Marseille), 2009 Zusammenfassung (PDF).

• Chris Stringer: The status of Homo heidelbergensis (Schoetensack 1908). In: Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews. Band 21, Nr. 3, 2012, S. 101–107, doi:10.1002/evan.21311. • Michael Balter: RIP for a key Homo species? In: Science. Band 345, Nr. 6193, 2014, S. 129, doi:10.1126/science.345.6193.129. • Laura T. Buck und Chris Stringer: Homo heidelbergensis.

In: Current Biology. Band 24, Nr. 6, 2014, R214–R215, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.12.048. • Sheela Athreya und Allison Hopkins: Conceptual issues in hominin taxonomy: Homo heidelbergensis and an ethnobiological reframing of species.

In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Band 175, Nr. S72, 2021, S. 4–26, doi:10.1002/ajpa.24330. Populäre Darstellungen • Günther A. Wagner, Karl W. Beinhauer (Hrsg.): Homo heidelbergensis von Mauer. Das Auftreten des Menschen in Europa. HVA, Heidelberg 1997, ISBN 3-8253-7105-0 • Günther A.

Wagner et al. (Hrsg.): Homo heidelbergensis. Schlüsselfund der Menschheitsgeschichte. Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2113-8 (die derzeit umfassendste und neueste Darstellung) • Homo heidelbergensis. 100 Jahre Fundwiederkehr des Unterkiefers von Mauer. Themenheft 2/2007 der Zeitschrift Palaeos – Menschen und Zeiten, hrsg. von „Homo heidelbergensis von Mauer e. V.“ Mauer 2007, ISSN 1863-1630 Weblinks [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] Wiktionary: Homo heidelbergensis – Bedeutungserklärungen, Wortherkunft, Synonyme, Übersetzungen • Excavations at Schöningen: New Insights into Middle Pleistocene Lifeways in Northern Europe.

Gedruckt publiziert in Journal of Human Evolution, Band 89/2015 (Sonderheft). • Australian Museum: Homo heidelbergensis. Auf: australian.museum, zuletzt abgerufen am 31. März 2022. Belege [ Bearbeiten - Quelltext bearbeiten ] • ↑ Elberfelder Zeitung vom 6. September 1856 • ↑ William King: The Reputed Fossil Man of the Neanderthal.

In: Quarterly Journal of Science. Band 1, 1864, S. 88–97 • ↑ Chris Stringer: Comment: What makes a modern human. In: Nature. Band 485, Nr. 7396, 2012, S. 33–35 (hier S. 34), doi:10.1038/485033a • ↑ Michael F. Hammer et al.: Genetic evidence for archaic admixture in Africa. In: PNAS. Band 108, Nr. 37, 2011, S. 15123–15128, doi:10.1073/pnas.1109300108 • ↑ Günther A.

Wagner et al.: Radiometric dating of the type-site for Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer, Germany. In: PNAS. Band 107, Nr. 46, 2010, S. 19726–19730 doi:10.1073/pnas.1012722107 • ↑ Otto Schoetensack: Der Unterkiefer des Homo Heidelbergensis aus den Sanden von Mauer bei Heidelberg. Ein Beitrag zur Paläontologie des Menschen. Leipzig, 1908, Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, S. 40. – „Präneandertaloid“ bedeutet: ähnlich wie ein Neandertaler, aber älter als dieser. • ↑ Chris Stringer: A multivariate study of the Petralona skull.

In: Journal of Human Evolution. Band 3, Nr. 5, 1974, S. 397–400, doi:10.1016/0047-2484(74)90202-4 • ↑ Björn Kurtén, Aris N.

Poulianos: Fossil Carnivora of Petralona Cave: status of 1980. In: Anthropos. Band 8, 1981, S. 9–56, Volltext (PDF; 15,5 MB) ( Memento vom 18. April 2016 im Internet Archive) • ↑ Chris Stringer: Some further notes on the morphology and dating of the Petralona hominid. In: Journal of Human Evolution. Band 12, Nr. 8, 1983, S. 731–742, doi:10.1016/S0047-2484(83)80128-6 • ↑ Gary J. Sawyer, Viktor Deak: Der lange Weg zum Menschen. Lebensbilder aus 7 Millionen Jahren Evolution.

Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2008, S. 158 • ↑ Robert Foley: Menschen vor Homo sapiens. Wie und warum unsere Art sich durchsetzte. Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 2000, S. 153 • ↑ Ian Tattersall: The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack – and Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution. Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2015, S. 186, ISBN 978-1-137-27889-0 • ↑ a b Bernard Wood, Nicholas Lonergan: The hominin fossil record: taxa, grades and clades.

In: Journal of Anatomy. Band 212, Nr. 4, 2008, S. 362, doi:10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.00871.x, Volltext (PDF; 292 kB) ( Memento vom 20. Oktober 2012 im Internet Archive) • ↑ Ann Gibbons: A new face for human ancestors. In: Science. Band 276, Nr. 5317, 1997, S. 1331–1333, doi:10.1126/science.276.5317.1331 • ↑ Jean-Jacques Hublin: The origin of Neandertals. In: PNAS.

Band 106, Nr. 38, 2009, S. 16022–16027, doi:10.1073/pnas.0904119106 (Volltext) • ↑ Bernard G. Campbell: A new taxonomy of fossil man. In: Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. Band 17, 1973, S. 194–201. • ↑ Mirjana Roksandic, Predrag Radović, Xiu-Jie Wu und Christopher J. Bae: Resolving the „muddle in the middle“: The case for Homo bodoensis sp. nov. In: Evolutionary Anthropology. Band 30, Nr. 5, 2021, S. 1–10, doi:10.1002/EVAN.21929. • ↑ Jesús Rodríguez et al.: Sustainable human population density in Western Europe between 560.000 and 360.000 years ago.

In: Scientific Reports. Band 12, Artikel-Nr. 6907, 2022, doi:10.1038/s41598-022-10642-w. Mehr Frühmenschen in Europa. Auf: scinexx.de vom 2. Mai 2022. • ↑ Juan Luis Arsuaga et al.: Postcranial morphology of the middle Pleistocene humans from Sima de los Huesos, Spain. In: PNAS. Band 112, Nr. 37, 2015, S. 11524–11529, doi:10.1073/pnas.1514828112, Volltext (PDF).

• ↑ Jean-Jacques Hublin: How to build a Neandertal. In: Science. Band 44, Nr. 6190, 2014, S. 1338–1339, doi:10.1126/science.1255554. • ↑ Juan Luis Arsuaga et al.: Neandertal roots: Cranial and chronological evidence from Sima de los Huesos. In: Science. Band 344, Nr. 6190, 2014, S. 1358–1363, doi:10.1126/science.1253958, Volltext (PDF).

• ↑ James L. Bischoff et al.: High-resolution U-series dates from the Sima de los Huesos hominids yields 600 kyrs: implications for the evolution of the early Neanderthal lineage. In: Journal of Archaeological Science. Band 34, Nr. 5, 2007, S. 763–770, doi:10.1016/j.jas.2006.08.003. • ↑ José María Bermúdez de Castro et al.: A Hominid from the Lower Pleistocene of Atapuerca, Spain: Possible Ancestor to Neanderthals and Modern Humans.

In: Science. Band 276, Nr. 5317, 1997, S. 1392–1395, doi:10.1126/science.276.5317.1392. • ↑ Ungeheuer robust und kräftig. Auf: spektrum.de vom 31. Oktober 2007. • ↑ Gary J. Sawyer, Viktor Deak: Der lange Weg zum Menschen, S.

153. • ↑ José-Miguel Carretero et al.: Stature estimation from complete long bones in the Middle Pleistocene humans from the Sima de los Huesos, Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain). In: Journal of Human Evolution. Band 62, Nr. 2, 2012, S. 242–255, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2011.11.004. • ↑ Thorolf Hardt, Bernd Herkner und Ulrike Menz: Safari zum Urmenschen.

Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart 2009, S. 124–126, ISBN 978-3-510-61395-3. • ↑ Juan Luis Arsuaga et al.: Neandertal roots: Cranial and chronological evidence from Sima de los Huesos. In: Science. Band 344, Nr. 6190, 2014, S. 1358–1363, doi:10.1126/science.1253958. • ↑ Jeffrey H. Schwartz und Ian Tattersall: Fossil evidence for the origin of Homo sapiens. In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Band 143, Supplement 51 (= Yearbook of Physical Anthropology), 2010, S.

94–121 (hier S. 101), doi:10.1002/ajpa.21443. • ↑ Matthias Meyer et al.: Amitochondrial genome sequence of a hominin from Sima de los Huesos. In: Nature. Band 505, 2014, S. 403–406, doi:10.1038/nature12788. • ↑ José-Miguel Carretero et al.: Stature estimation from complete long bones in the Middle Pleistocene humans from the Sima de los Huesos, Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain).

In: Journal of Human Evolution. Band 62, Nr. 2, 2012, S. 242–255, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2011.11.004. • ↑ Älteste menschliche DNA entziffert. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft vom 4. Dezember 2013. • ↑ Ewen Callaway: Hominin DNA baffles experts. In: Nature. Band 504, 2013, S. 16–17, doi:10.1038/504016a. • ↑ Altsteinzeitlicher Schlachtplatz für Elefanten in Griechenland entdeckt. Auf: idw-online vom 25. November 2015. • ↑ Gary J. Sawyer, Viktor Deak: Der lange Weg zum Menschen, S. 155. • ↑ Marina Lozano et al.: Right handedness of Homo heidelbergensis from Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) 500,000 years ago.

In: Evolution & Human Behavior. Band 30, Nr. 5, 2009, S. 369–376, doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.03.001. David W. Frayer et al.: More than 500,000 years of right-handedness in Europe. In: Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition.

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Helmstedt – Bedeutsame Funde zur Kulturentwicklung der frühen Menschen. Germania 77, 1999, S. 451–487. • ↑ Hartmut Thieme: The Lower Palaeolithic art of hunting – the case of Schöningen 13 II-4, Lower Saxony, Germany. In: Chris Gamble und Martin Porr (Hrsg.): The hominid individual in context. Archaeological investigations of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic landscapes, locals and artefacts.

London, New York, 2005, S. 115–132. • ↑ Almut Bick: Die Steinzeit. Theiss WissenKompakt, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-8062-1996-6. • ↑ Dietrich Mania: Auf den Spuren des Urmenschen. Berlin, 1990, S. 1–283. • ↑ Wil Roebroeks, Paola Villa: On the earliest evidence for habitual use of fire in Europe.

In: PNAS. Band 108, Nr. 13, 2011, S. 5209–5214, doi:10.1073/pnas.1018116108. • ↑ a b Forscher finden 500.000 Jahre alte Hightech-Waffen. Auf: welt.de vom 19. November 2012 (mit Abb.) • ↑ O. Jöris: Aus einer anderen Welt - Europa zur Zeit des Neandertalers. In: N. J. Conard et al. (Hrsg.): Vom Neandertaler zum modernen Menschen. Ausstellungskatalog, Blaubeuren 2005, S. 47–70. • ↑ Jayne Wilkins et al.: Evidence for Early Hafted Hunting Technology.

In: Science. Band 338, Nr. 6109, 2012, S. 942–946, doi:10.1126/science.1227608 Archaeologists identify spear tips used in hunting a half-million years ago. Auf: eurekalert.org vom 15. November 2012 (mit Abb.) • ↑ Gustav Schwalbe: Über einen bei Ehringsdorf in der Nähe von Weimar gefundenen Unterkiefer des Homo primigenius. In: Anatomischer Anzeiger. Band 47, 1914, S. 337–345. – Die Fragmente wurden erst 1960 von Günter Behm-Blancke wissenschaftlich beschrieben. • ↑ Gary J.

Sawyer, Viktor Deak (2008), S. 154 f. • ↑ James L. Bischoff et al.: High-resolution U-series dates from the Sima de los Huesos hominids yields 600 kyrs: implications for the evolution of the early Neanderthal lineage. In: Journal of Archaeological Science. Band 34, Nr. 5, 2007, S. 763–770, doi:10.1016/j.jas.2006.08.003 • ↑ William J. Rink et al.: New Radiometric Ages for the BH-1 Hominin from Balanica (Serbia): Implications for Understanding the Role of the Balkans in Middle Pleistocene Human Evolution.

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It was the first early human species to live in colder climates; their ­­­short, wide bodies were likely an adaptation to conserving heat. It lived at the time of the oldest definite control of fire and use of wooden spears, and it was the first early human species to routinely hunt large animals.

This early human also broke new ground; it was the first species to build shelters, creating simple dwellings out of wood and rock. History of Discovery: In 1908 near Heidelberg, Germany, a workman found the type specimen of H. heidelbergensis in the Rösch sandpit just north of the village of Mauer. This mandible was nearly complete except for the missing premolars and first two left molars; it is heavily built and lacks a chin.

German scientist Otto Schoentensack was the first to describe the specimen and proposed the species name Homo heidelbergensis. Before the naming of this species, scientists referred to early human fossils showing traits similar to both Homo erectus and modern humans as ‘archaic’ Homo sapiens. How They Survived: There is evidence that H.

heidelbergensis was capable of controlling fire by building hearths, or early fireplaces, by 790,000 years ago in the form of fire-altered tools and burnt wood at the site of Gesher Benot Ya-aqov in Israel. Social groups probably often gathered around their hearths sharing food, stay warm, and ward off predators. H. heidelbergensis probably took advantage of natural shelters but this species was also the first to build simple shelters. Evidence for this comes from the site of Terra Amata, France.

H. heidelbergensis was also the first hunter of large game animals; remains of animals such as wild deer, horses, elephants, hippos, and rhinos with butchery marks on their bones have been found together at sites with H. heidelbergensis fossils.

Evidence for this also comes from 400,000 year old wooden spears found at the site of Schöningen, Germany, which were found together with stone tools and the remains of more than 10 butchered horses.

One site in Atapuerca, northern Spain, dating to about 400,000 years ago, shows evidence of what may be human ritual. Scientists have found bones of roughly 30 H. heidelbergensis individuals deliberately thrown inside a pit.

The pit has been named Sima de los Huesos (‘Pit of Bones’). Alongside the skeletal remains, scientists uncovered a single well-made symmetrical handaxe —illustrating the tool-making ability of H.

heidelbergensis. Evolutionary Tree Information: This species may reach back to 1.3 million years ago, and include early humans from Spain (‘ Homo antecessor’ fossils and archeological evidence from 800,000 to 1.3 million years old), England (archeological remains back to about 1 million years old), and Italy (from the site of Ceprano, possibly as old as 1 million years).

Comparison of Neanderthal and modern human DNA suggests that the two lineages diverged from a common ancestor, most likely Homo heidelbergensis, sometime between 350,000 and 400,000 years ago – with the European branch leading to H. neanderthalensis and the African branch (sometimes called Homo rhodesiensis) to H.

sapiens. Questions: We don’t know everything about early humans—but we keep learning more! Paleoanthropologists are constantly in the field, excavating new areas with groundbreaking technology, and continually filling in some of the gaps about our understanding of human evolution.

Below are some of the still unanswered questions about Homo heidelbergensis that may be answered with future discoveries: • Did this early human species indeed range in time from 1.3 million to 200,000 years ago, and in geography from Africa to Europe to Asia? Or are there more than one species represented among the fossils that some scientists call H. heidelbergensis (including H.

antecessor, H. cepranensis, and H. rhodesiensis)? • Many scientists think this species was ancestral to our own, but which species was the ancestor of H. heidelbergensis? • Did H. heidelbergensis have any cultural or behavioral adaptations that facilitated it living in colder climates?

• Did regional groups or populations of H. heidelbergensis exhibit any unique behaviors or anatomical adaptations? References: First paper: Schoetensack, O., 1908. Der Unterkiefer des Homo heidelbergensis aus den Sanden von Mauer bei Heidelberg.

Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann. Other recommended readings: Martinez, I., Rosa, L., Arsuaga, J.-L. Jarabo, P., Quam, R., Lorenzo, C., Gracia, A., Carretero, J.-M., Bermúdez de Castro, J.M., Carbonell, E., 2004. Auditory capacities in Middle Pleistocene humans from the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101, 9976-9981. Mounier, A., Marchal, F., Condemi, S. 2009. Is Homo heidelbergensis a distinct species? New insight on the Mauer mandible". Journal of Human Evolution 56, 219-246.

Rightmire, G.P., 1998. Human evolution in the Middle Pleistocene: the role of Homo heidelbergensis. Evolutionary Anthropology 6, 218-227. Stringer, C.B., Trinkaus, E., Roberts, M.B., Parfitt, S.A., Macphail, R.I., 1998.The Middle Pleistocene human tibia from Boxgrove. Journal of Human Evolution 34 , 509-547. • Human Evolution Research • Climate and Human Evolution • Climate Effects on Human Evolution • Survival of the Adaptable • Human Evolution Timeline Interactive • East African Research Projects • Olorgesailie Field Blog • 2011 Olorgesailie Dispatches • 2004 Olorgesailie Dispatches • 1999 Olorgesailie Dispatches • Olorgesailie Drilling Project • Kanam, Kenya • Kanjera, Kenya • Ol Pejeta, Kenya • Olorgesailie, Kenya • Evolution of Human Innovation • Adventures in the Rift Valley: Interactive • Asian Research Projects • 'Hobbits' on Flores, Indonesia • Earliest Humans in China • Bose, China • Anthropocene: The Age of Humans • Fossil Forensics: Interactive • What's Hot in Human Origins?

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According to the "Recent Out of Africa" theory, similar "Archaic Homo sapiens" found in Africa (ie.

Homo rhodesiensis and Homo sapiens idaltu), existing in Africa as a part of the operation of the Saharan pump, and not the European forms of Homo heidelbergensis, are thought to be direct ancestors of modern Homo sapiens. Homo antecessor is likely a direct ancestor living 750,000 years ago evolving into Homo heidelbergensis appearing in the fossil record living roughly 600,000 to 250,000 years ago through various areas of Europe.

Homo heidelbergensis remains were found in Mauer near Heidelberg, Germany and then later in Arago, France and Petralona, Greece. The best evidence found for these hominins date between 400,000 and 500,000 years ago. H. heidelbergensis stone tool technology was considerably close to that of the Acheulean tools used by Homo erectus.

The first fossil discovery of this species was made on October 21, 1907 and came from Mauer where the workman Daniel Hartmann spotted a jaw in a sandpit. The jaw was in good condition except for the missing premolar teeth, which were eventually found near the jaw. The workman gave it to professor Otto Schoetensack from the University of Heidelberg, who identified and named the fossil.

Most current experts believe Rhodesian Man, found in Africa, to be within the group Homo heidelbergensis. This would make African heidelbergensis the ancestor of humans while the European variety would be the ancestor of the Neanderthals.

Oct. 28, 2021 — Palaeoanthropologists have announced the naming of a new species of human ancestor, Homo bodoensis. This species lived in Africa during the Middle Pleistocene, around half a million years ago, and ...

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See all related content → Homo heidelbergensis, extinct species of archaic human (genus Homo) known from fossils dating from 600,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa, Europe, and possibly Asia. The name first appeared in print in 1908 to accommodate an ancient human jaw discovered in 1907 near the town of Mauer, 16 km (10 miles) southeast of Heidelberg, Germany.

Among the fossils found with the Heidelberg jaw were those of several extinct mammals that lived about 500,000 years ago. The Kabwe cranium, found in 1921 at Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe, Zambia), and originally called Rhodesian man.

The skull is now considered to be representative of Homo heidelbergensis. © Günter Bräuer The Heidelberg jaw, also called the Mauer jaw, lacks a chin and is exceptionally thick and broad. The teeth are surprisingly small for such a massive mandible.

The jaw is also long, and this feature may imply that the individual had a projecting lower face. Among other examples of H. heidelbergensis, the best are specimens from Bodo ( Ethiopia), Kabwe ( Zambia), Ndutu ( Tanzania), Petralona ( Greece), Arago ( France), and possibly Dali ( China). The craniums have massive brow ridges, a long and low braincase, and thick vault bones like those of H. erectus. The braincases are larger than what is typical for H. erectus, but the skulls lack the unique specializations that characterize the Neanderthals.

The expanded brain necessitates the modern features seen in the skull, such as the more-rounded rear of the skull (occipital), expanded sides (parietals), and broadened forehead. Sites of Homo heidelbergensis and Homo sapiens remains in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Until the 1990s it was common to place these specimens either in H.

erectus or into a broad category along with Neanderthals that was often called archaic H. sapiens. A problem with the latter designation was the growing recognition that Neanderthals were unique to and relatively isolated in Europe and western Asia.

It therefore became common to categorize the Neanderthals as a separate and morphologically well-defined species, H. neanderthalensis.

At the same time, lumping specimens such as those found at Bodo and Petralona with modern H. sapiens would have created an unreasonably heterogeneous species, since modern H. sapiens is remarkably homogeneous in morphology and behaviour and differs strongly from archaic Homo species.

Designating the Bodo and Petralona specimens as H. heidelbergensis emphasizes the uniqueness of modern H. sapiens, Neanderthals, and H. erectus. Using this taxonomy, it appears to many researchers that H. heidelbergensis is the common ancestor of both Neanderthals and modern humans and that the transition from H. heidelbergensis to H. sapiens occurred in Africa prior to 300,000 years ago.

Henry McHenry
Introduction In 1907, at the Mauer sand pits in Germany, a nearly complete mandible was discovered by a quarry worker. This mandible (Mauer 1) validated Otto Schoetensack’s conviction that there would be Pleistocene human remains found in the quarry amid the more common rhino, bear, elephant, bison, deer, and horse remains.

Schoetensack published an extensive monograph on the mandible a year later in which he designated it to a new species of hominid, Homo heidelbergensis. Schoetensack named a new species without justifying it by describing the unique anatomical features of the species. Along with this lack of morphological comparisons and differentiation from other known species, the lack of older specimens (and just about any specimen at all for a long period of time) kept heidelbergensis from becoming accepted among paleoanthropologists.

However, though Schoetensack did not justify his species designation, there are features that set Mauer 1 apart from Neanderthal and H. sapiens.

The age of the specimen also creates a distinction, as it dates to approximately 500 kyr. With a wealth of newer discoveries in the last 30 years, the species designation if heidelbergensis has been revived. The validity of heidlebergensis seems to be current among many researchers at this time, but it is by no means universally accepted.

Many researchers argue that heidelbergensis is invalid, and is simply a chronospecies (though, that is exactly what some proponents argue for, among those who see anagenesis as a valid speciation event).

In this overview of the species, I will be making the distinction of heidelbergensis from erectus based on both age and geographic location.

Starting with the null hypothesis that all the ergaster, erectus, and heidelbergensis are members of the same variable species that differ by age and geography, I will discuss heidelbergensis as those specimens occurring later, and occurring in Europe and Africa.

I will discuss erectus as those specimens occurring earlier and in Asia and Africa. My personal convictions are not contained in this partition of the specimens, as I am trying to give a current overview of popular opinion in the field while noting obvious fallacies in some species designation (as per antecessor). Diagnostic Features Due to the fact that there have been so many different specimens attributed to the erectus offshoots, it is difficult to create a list of features that differentiate heidelbergensis from erectus or H.

neanderthalensis. In general, heidelbergensis specimens show a continuation of evolutionary trends that occurred in the Lower Pleistocene into the Middle Pleistocene. Along with changes in robusticity of cranial and dental features, there is a marked increase in brain size from erectus to heidelbergensis.

Some of the features of Middle Pleistocene Homo that shows these trends include: • An increase in brain size (early Homo approximately 900 cc, heidelbergensis specimens approximately 1200cc). • A shift from the widest part of the braincase from the cranial base to the parietal regions. • The rear of the cranial vault becomes more vertical. • A gradual reduction in cranial robusticity.

• A decline in postcranial robusticity also. • A tendency for a shift from shorter more robust stature to taller leaner bodies. The increase in brain size may have also come with an increase in brain complexity, although this is difficult to determine from endocasts, and may have to remain supposition only. However, the increase in absolute size and the change to larger frontal and parietal lobes indicate that there may have been a reorganization of the functional anatomy of the hominid brain.

The increase in size itself indicates changes in behaviour that lead to the ability to more easily acquire nutritional resources. This is due to the high nutrition requirements of brain tissue, especially during development.

There is increasingly more convincing evidence in the use and control of fire, and in the hunting of animals for food. This time period is important for many reasons and maybe the time period when more modern behaviour began to develop. The type specimen of heidelbergensis is Mauer 1. This specimen shows a host of both primitive and derived features that, in general, have been accepted as proof of ancestry to the Neanderthal line.

The specimen was discovered in 1907 in the Mauer sand pits near Heidelberg, Germany. The exact age of the specimen is uncertain, but it dates at least as old as 400 kyr, and possibly as old as 700 kyr.

However, a date of 500 kyr is generally accepted as most likely. Some of the traits that distinguish this specimen include: • A sloping symphysis that contains two mandibular tori on its inner side (primitive). • An especially broad ramus (primitive). • An M2 that is larger than the M1 (primitive). • A very robust mandible (primitive). • Taurodont molars (derived).

• A reduced M3 (derived). • Dramatic buccal cusp dominance in the P3 (derived). Another Middle Pleistocene hominid that may or may not be attributed to heidelbergensis is the Bodo cranium. Bodo was discovered in 1976 at Bodo d’Ar, Ethiopia, in the Middle Awash Valley. The specimen is important because of its age (600 kyr), and its suite of features. The cranium is extremely robust and sports the biggest face known among hominid specimens. Acheulean tools were found near the site with the remains of hippos, baboons, and antelopes, indicating that Bodo may have been butchering animals for meat, and may have even hunted them.

However, Bodo himself was also the victim of butchery, as seen by the distinctive cutmarks on several parts of the cranium. Bodo has also been at the centre of infighting among scientists, and, as such, has had relatively few publications describing it. Some of the features that distinguish Bodo include: • Approximately 1100cc brain.

• A broad massive face. • An extremely broad nose (the largest of any Pleistocene hominid). • The lower nasal margin is guttered. • Robust zygomatics that angle backwards from the nasal margins. • An expanded maxilla, and an associated lack of a canine fossa (though there is a very shallow fossa lateral to the nose). • A long sloping frontal bone. • A thick brow ridge with a very deep temporal fossa.

• A remarkably flexed cranial base. • A flat sloping anterior face on the mandibular fossa, that is the result of the emphasis on anterior tooth loading.

The cave site of Arago, at Tautavel, France, in the eastern Pyrenees mountains has yielded the remains of many hominids, with the cranium Arago XXI the most complete.

Due to its size and robust facial features, Arago XXI is generally considered a young male, though some consider it female. The dating of the material is problematic, with a wide range of dates being claimed. Henry de Lumley considers the material to be approximately 400 kyr, though it is much more likely that the material dates 200 kyr to 300 kyr.

Arago 21 is fairly complete, lacking only the temporal and occipital bones. Some of its distinguishing features include: • An approximately 1166cc brain. • Broca’s cap and other speech areas are well-developed. • Evidence of an extensive right parietal association area. • Evidence of right-handedness from an asymmetric endocast. • Lacks a frontal boss.

• Presence of marked parietal boss. • Presence of an angular torus. • A low broad sagittal keel. • A deep supraorbital sulcus. • A short and prognathic face, with an expanded maxilla. The material from Petralona is very similar morphologically to the Arago material. The Petralona 1 cranium was discovered in 1960, hanging suspended from a stalagmite in a cave of Katsika Hill, in Petralona, Greece.

The specimen has a very ambiguous morphology, which led to several different species attributions. It was originally attributed to neanderthalensis, and was later classified as erectus, but it falls much closer to the morphology of the various heidelbergensis specimens, especially Arago XXI.

The specimen was originally thought to be approximately 70 kyr, as young as many Neanderthal specimens, and later estimates put that number at closer 700 kyr. However, ESR dating has given a date of between 247 kyr and 127 kyr, though some researchers estimate its likely date to be around 300-400 kyr due to its morphology.

Some of its features include: • A large brow ridge – a double-arched supraorbital torus. • Lacks a canine fossa. • An open occipital angle. • A 1220 cc brain estimate.

• A massive face, though it is non-projecting. • A prominent transverse torus. There are many other specimens that can be (and have been) attributed to heidelbergensis, and they generally have all the same common traits that have been mentioned for the specific specimens discussed above. Material from Apidima, Kabwe, Steinheim, Atapuerca, etc. can be and have been designated as heidelbergensis, or erectus. In general, there is a decrease in robusticity, an increase in brain size, and a tendency towards more derived features of neanderthalensis or sapiens.

Conclusions There is no real question as to whether or not heidelbergensis is a chronospecies, it is. The validity of it depends on whether one accepts anagenesis as a valid method of speciation.

H. heidelbergensis specimens are generally Middle Pleistocene hominids in Europe or Africa (though some specimens from Asia such as Dali have been designated to heidelbergensis by a few individuals), with the major difference from erectus being spatial.

Bibliography This bibliography contains the sources of the information cited above, as well as any sources that could provide any other information on the subject. If you know of any other sources that are pertinent to H. heidelbergensis, please e-mail me the citation in the format used below, and I will add it to the list. Any problems with the information I presented above can be sent to me here. I don’t want to provide misinformation, and any corrections are gladly accepted (with proper documentation of what is wrong and why, with sources).

Thanks! Adam, K.D. 1985. “The chronological and systematic position of the Steinheim skull.” In Ancestors: The Hard Evidence, ed. by E. Delson, pp. 272-276. New York: Alan R. Liss. Arsuaga, J.L., J.M. Carretero, A.

Gracia, and I. Martínez. 1990. “Taphonomical analysis of the human sample from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (atapuerca/Ibeas, Spain).” In Human Evolution, vo.

5, no. 6, pp. 505-513. Arsuaga, J.L., I. Martínez, A. Gracia, J.M. Carretero, and E. Carbonell. 1993. “Three new human skulls from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Paleolithic site in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain.” In Nature, vol.

362, pp. 534-537. Clark, J.D., J. de Heinzelin, K.D. Schick, W.K. Hart, T.D. White, G. Woldegabriel, R.C. Walter, G. Suwa, B. Asfaw, E. Vrba, and Y.H. Selassie. 1994. “African Homo erectus: Old radiometric ages and young Olduwan assemblages in the Middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia” In Science, vol.

264, pp. 1907-1909. Conroy, G.C., C.J. Jolly, D. Cramer, and J.E. Kalb. 1978. “Newly discovered fossil hominid skull from the Afar depression, Ethiopia.” In Nature, vo.

276, pp. 67-70. Cook, J., C.B. Stringer, A.P. Currant, H.P. Schwarcz, and A.G. Wintle. 1982. “A review of the chronology of the European Middle Pleistocene hominid record.” In Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, vol. 25, pp. 19-65. Of Further Interest • human origins articles • Male Chimpanzee • Anthropology/Science Books • Human Evolution Articles • Modern Human Origins Books and Transcripts • Human Evolution Articles • Physical Anthropology References • Sivapithecus • Male Gorilla • Male Chimpanzee • Female Gorilla • Non Hominid Index Pages • The Concept of Human Races: Uses and Problems • Modern Human Origins in a Historical Context Thoughts • Human Thermoregulation and Hair Loss • Three-Stage Timing Sequence at FLK 22 Explained • Scientific Archaeology What Is It?

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Close Navigation • Australian Museum Eureka Prizes • Work at the Museum • Student opportunities • Citizen science submenu Cast of a skull discovered in 1933 in Steinheim, Germany. It dates to about 250,000 years old. The face of the Steinheim skull is shaped like those of other Homo heidelbergensis individuals although it is less robust and may belong to an adult female. The cranium, however, is Neanderthal-like as it is very rounded at the rear and has a slight depression in the occipital bone at the back of the skull.

Brain size is about 1110 to 1200cc. Image: Carl Bento © Australian Museum Background of discovery Age This species lived between 300,000 and 600,000 years ago. The African fossils tend to be older than those from Europe. Fossils from Gran Dolina in Spain date to 800,000 years old, and may be Homo heidelbergensis or a different species, Homo antecessor.

Important fossil discoveries In 1907, an ancient human jaw was discovered in a quarry at Mauer, a village near Heidelberg, Germany. The jaw had small, human-like teeth but was unlike modern human jaws in being extremely large and heavy boned. The unique features of this Mauer 1 jaw led to it being named a new species the following year. However, the species Homo heidelbergensis has only become more accepted since the end of the 20th century with the discovery of additional fossils that had features intermediate between those of earlier and later human species.

Important specimens: • Boxgrove 1 – a tibia (shinbone) discovered in 1993 in Boxgrove, West Sussex, England. This shinbone has been gnawed at each end by an ancient carnivore but the remaining bone shows its owner was more strongly built than modern humans. The large ridges which run down the back of the bone (shown here) are places where muscles attach to the bone and indicate that this individual had very large and powerful leg muscles. • ‘Kabwe’ or ‘Broken Hill 1’ – skull discovered in 1921 in Kabwe (formerly Broken Hill), Zambia.

This skull was the first fossil of a human ancestor to be discovered in Africa. {/INSERTKEYS}

homo heidelbergensis

It combines primitive features such as a wide face, thick arching brow ridges and a sloping forehead with a large brain capacity of 1280 cubic centimetres. The date of this specimen is uncertain but it may be 300,000 years old.

This individual had significant tooth decay and a number of associated abscesses had decayed the upper jaw bone. Significant dental decay such as this was unusual in our ancestors prior to the development of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago when more sugars and starchy foods were included in the diet.

• Saldanha – a skullcap discovered in 1953 in Elandsfontein, South Africa. This skullcap closely resembles the Broken Hill 1 skull homo heidelbergensis having large brow ridges, a broad, sloping forehead and a rear skull wall that is vertical rather than rounded or sloping.

• Arago 21 and Arago – skull and lower jaw discovered in Arago Caves, Tautavel, France. Excavations since 1964 have revealed a number of human fossils at Arago including this skull and jaw from different individuals. Thousands of stone tools and the bones of many types of animals have also been uncovered at this site. The Arago 21 skull is relatively complete but it was distorted either before or homo heidelbergensis fossilisation.

Its features are typical of this species but its size and robust facial features suggest that it is the skull of a young male. It has been dated as being between 250,000 and 400,000 years old. • Mauer 1 – a lower jaw discovered in 1907 in Mauer, near Heidelberg, Germany. Homo heidelbergensis jaw is the ‘type specimen’ or official representative of this species. It was discovered by workers at a gravel quarry which had previously yielded many fossils of extinct mammals.

Lying at a depth of about 24 metres, its age is estimated to be between 400,000 and 600,000 years old. • The remains of at least 6 individuals found at the site of Gran Dolina, Atapuerca, in Spain.

They lived about 800,000 to 1 million years ago in Europe and are the oldest human remains found in that continent. Although many experts consider these remains to be part of an early and variable Homo heidelbergensis population, the discoverers believe the fossils are different enough to be given a new species name Homo antecessor.

What the name means Homo heidelbergensis means ‘Heidelberg Man’. Homo, is the Latin word for ‘human’ or ‘man’ and heidelbergensis is the latinised word for ‘Heidelberg’, the city in Germany where the first Homo heidelbergensis fossil was discovered in 1907. Distribution Fossils of this species have been found scattered across Africa and Europe. A fossilised skullcap discovered in northern India’s Narmada Valley may also be Homo homo heidelbergensis and if so, currently represents the easternmost occurrence of this species.

Important sites include Lake Turkana, Bodo, Ndutu, Kabwe, Elandsfontein, Petralona, Mauer, Steinheim, Arago, Boxgrove, Swanscombe and Narmada. Relationships with other species Most fossils now known as Homo heidelbergensis were previously known as either Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis or ‘archaic’ Homo sapiens. With the discovery of many more fossils over the last few decades, many researchers now accept Homo heidelbergensis as a separate species, although the designation of some fossils is still debated since they possess features that homo heidelbergensis transitional between earlier and later species.

Homo heidelbergensis began to develop regional differences that eventually gave rise to two species of humans. European populations of Homo heidelbergensis evolved into Homo neanderthalensis (the Neanderthals) while a separate population of Homo heidelbergensis in Africa evolved into our own species, Homo sapiens. Some European fossils have features that indicate they were intermediate between earlier Homo heidelbergensis and the later Neanderthal people.

Their classification is therefore debated – are they Homo heidelbergensis or are they early Homo neanderthalensis? Examples of debated homo heidelbergensis Homo heidelbergensis or early Homo neanderthalensis? • Steinheim – skull discovered in1933 in Steinheim, Germany.

The face of the Steinheim skull is shaped like those of other Homo heidelbergensis individuals although it is less robust and may belong to an adult female. The cranium, however, is Neanderthal-like as it is very rounded at the rear and has a slight depression in the occipital bone at the back of the skull. • Swanscombe – cranium discovered in 1935, 1936 and 1955 (in three separate pieces) in Swanscombe, England.

The face of the cranium has not been found but the back of the cranium resembles the Steinheim skull. More recently, fossils remains found at Gran Dolina in Spain have cast doubt on this interpretation. Although many experts consider these remains to be part of an early and variable Homo heidelbergensispopulation, the discoverers believe the fossils are different enough to be given a new species name Homo homo heidelbergensis.

They also claim they are the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. This scenario sees European Homo heidelbergensis moved to a side branch from modern humans as they are the descendants of Homo antecessor and the ancestor of Neanderthals.

African Homo heidelbergensis would require a name change. Key physical features Homo heidelbergensis fossils tend to have features that are intermediate between those of Homo ergaster and either Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens. Body size and shape • fossil evidence regarding body size and shape is currently limited but leg bones indicate they were tall, reaching about 180 centimetres in homo heidelbergensis and had relatively long legs like their earlier ancestor, Homo ergaster.

• the shinbone’s thickness and bony ridges indicate that these people were strongly built. Brain • brain was large, averaging approximately 1250 cubic centimetres in size, representing 1.9% of their body weight • frontal and parietal lobes of the brain were enlarged and may indicate an increase in brain complexity Skull • small post-orbital constriction behind the eye sockets.

• a moderate, double arched brow ridge and a short, sloping forehead lay above the eyes. The brow ridge was more arched than that of the earlier species, Homo ergaster. The sloping forehead resembled those found in earlier species rather than the vertical foreheads of modern humans. • nasal opening was relatively wide Jaws and teeth • jaws were shorter than those of earlier species resulting in a face with only a slight projection • some members of this species possessed a gap, called the retromolar space, behind the third molars (or wisdom teeth) at the back of the jaw.

Others had only a tiny gap or no gap. • lower jaw was strongly built for homo heidelbergensis attachment of strong chewing muscles • as with earlier species, the lower jaw did not have a protruding, pointed chin • teeth were arranged in the jaw so that they formed a parabolic shape (curved at the front then splayed out toward the back) • teeth were smaller than those of earlier species but were larger than those of modern humans Limbs • lower legs were relatively long.

Limb proportions such as these represent an adaptation to tropical conditions as they provide a larger skin surface to help cool the body. These limb proportions are similar to those found later in Homo sapiens and contrast with the short lower legs that developed in the Neanderthals. • leg bones tended to be thick and strongly built. Lifestyle Culture Homo heidelbergensis people spread out of Africa and had established populations in Europe and possibly also in southern Asia by about 500,000 years ago.

By about 300,000 years ago, regional differences began to develop as they adapted to their new environments. The tools made by Homo heidelbergensis were mostly used for hunting and butchery.

Most of their tools were of the type previously used by Homo ergaster. These were large stone tools with flakes removed from homo heidelbergensis sides to produce the bifacial stone hand axes, cleavers and carvers classified as Mode 2 technology. Some later populations are known to have also made tools from deer antler, bone and wood. These materials were modified into homo heidelbergensis, hammers and sophisticated wooden throwing spears.

Fire was used, although further evidence is needed to establish whether this was a controlled use of fire. Animal hide clothing may have been worn, especially by populations living in the cooler European areas. However, direct evidence of clothing is difficult to obtain since it is non-durable and tends to quickly perish. No direct evidence of clothing currently exists. Environment and diet Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, the climates of Africa and Europe experienced a series of warm and cool phases and the move from Africa to Europe subjected these people to generally colder climates.

About 300,000 years ago, a severe cold, dry period began and the Sahara became a barrier to movement between Africa and Eurasia, although movement may have been possible between Europe and northern Asia. At this time, populations in Africa and in Europe were isolated from one another and regional differences began to appear.

Homo heidelbergensis hunted large animals for food although the hides may also have been useful, especially in colder areas. The fossilised bones of these animals have shown that large animals including rhinos, hippopotamus, bears, horses and deer were targeted.

These homo heidelbergensis were skilfully hunted then butchered in an orderly fashion that suggests that these people were working in co-operative groups. Larger brains Important changes to the brain have been occurring for more than two million years. These changes have resulted in dramatic increase in brain size and the reorganisation of the brain in which some parts, such as those involved in learning, have developed more than others, such as smell and vision Discover more How do we know an individual’s age at death?

Scientists can sometimes work out how old an individual was at the time of their death. Their age at death is determined by examining their teeth and bones, and by understanding how quickly these structures develop within the bodies of our ancestors.

Discover more The Australian Museum respects and acknowledges the Gadigal people as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of the land homo heidelbergensis waterways on which the Museum stands. — We acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging. This website may contain names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. • What's on • Admission information • Accessibility and (disability) inclusion • Membership • Location and access • Parking and public transport • Food and dining • Museum Shop • Book a group visit • Multilingual visit information • Functions and venues • Australian Museum Map • Audio guides of exhibitions • Visitor safety during COVID-19 • Discover & Learn Toggle Discover & Learn submenu • Museum news • For teachers and students • Australian Museum collections • First Nations • Climate change • Sustainability • Research and expeditions • Animal factsheets • Australia over time • Dinosaurs and their relatives • Science of life • Earth science • Journals & Publications • Research Library • Object and species identification • Get involved Toggle Get involved submenu • About the Australian Museum • Become a Member • Donate to the Museum • Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI) • Australian Museum Eureka Prizes • Work at the Museum • Homo heidelbergensis opportunities • Citizen science • Volunteer • Partnerships • Commercial services • Touring exhibitions • Media Centre • Contact us • About Toggle About submenu

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