Re: Archaic H. sapiens???

J E Hawcroft (
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 13:20:42 +0000

Timo Niroma wrote:
> In article <>, (Al
> Curtis) says:
> >
> >I asked this question in a recent post but got no responses. Just what
> >distinguishes archaic H. sapiens from H. erectus (besides brain size)
> >and were they actually slightly more evolved H. erecti? Who decided
> >that they were in fact sapiens? The term "archaic" H. sapiens seems
> >rather vague to me. Thanks in advance
> Archaic Homo sapiens differed from Homo erectus besides by having greater
> brains, also by his/her face for example.> The term archaic is vague, because Homo in Africa developed from erectus
> to "archaic" to "modern" via many phases and it is difficult to draw any
> clear line between.(SNIP)
I think the real answer to this question is that "archaic H.s." is not
really a proper, cast-in-stone category, but rather a sort of wastebasket
group. Its members are generally those which can't be reliably assigned
to either H. erectus or H.sapiens proper. Basically well-known archaics
such as Kabwe, Sale and so on look like either very rugged modern humans
or H.erecti with strong tendancies towards an H.sapiens appearance. This
is further complicated by the fact that European archaic H.s.
specimens have recently been repackaged and put together in a single
European basket called H. heidelbergensis (type specimen the Mauer jaw,
or Heidelberg jaw - other famous members of this group are Boxgrove and
Thus it is no surprise that the anatomical and temporal boundaries of
"archaic H.s." tend to float about a bit, and that academics differ on
which specimens should be included with it. One rule that generally holds
is that African archaics are simply too late in time to be comfortably
included in H. erectus (blanket date for these specimens is about 100kya)
although of course this rule could be revoked by a single find at any