Re: Archaic H. sapiens???

Dan Barnes (
Wed, 8 Jan 1997 17:16:20 GMT

In article <>, says...
>Dan Barnes wrote:
>> The KG has been dated to 600 to 500 ka (see Rightmire, 1996, again, for
>> dates)

> OK, sorry, I was thinking more of the Klasies RM lot and so on.

This is one of the main problems about calling them archaic H.s.

> I admit
>the last stuff I read about them was a few years old but they were quoted
>then as 120-80.

The KRM AMHs (or not as Wolpoff and Caspari would have us believe) in the
LBS member are indeed dated to between 90 and 120 ka (U-series, ESR and
aspartic acid) which makes them the oldest securely dated hominids that could
be AMHs - I am dubious about the U-series date of 130 ka for Omo 1 (Butzer et
al, 1969) but if that date (or in the region of it) was correct it would definitely
support an African origin for AMHs as Frayer et al (1993) claim that it is at least
as old as the Border Cave hominids (c. 80 ka) and they both influenced the
AMH interpretation of the KMR hominids. So I'd like to see a new date done

>> PS - problems could occur if the Mauer jaw (the type fossil for H.h.) was foun
>d to
>> be H.e. as was first thought. The whole group would need to be renamed
>> Kabwensis ???)

>You might have something there! Interesting that before H.
>heidelbergensis was thought of, most members of the group were quite
>happy being in a vague, undefined category. Perhaps we shouldn't impose
>"groups" on fossils as much as we do?

It might be very important that we do or we may loose the resolution of our
understanding of prehistory. If Bilzingsleben is H.e. and a similarily dated
hominid like Petralona (although the dating is problematic 350 ka seems a
decent estimate) is definitely H.h. then we may have something important esp. if
Verteszollos (spelling?) is also H.e., which in the true cladistic sense it is
(Wolpoff, 1979), and the date of 185 ka (Schwarcz and Latham, 1984) is
correct then it means H.e. may have survived until the Ns began to evolve (this is
a little theory I've been toying with for a bit - see also Svoboda, 1987; 1989 for a
similar interpretation based on the lithics).

>PS enjoyed your paper at TAG.

Thanks - I enjoyed yours too - it was one of the ones that got me thinking (along
with esp. Paul Petit's paper at the time resolution bit the day before). I must
admit to a degree of nervousness a few days before but thankfully I was on first
thing so I was too shell shocked from an early start to get worked up about it.
The major pity was I couldn't include any of my results due to problems in the