Re: archaic Homo sapiens?

Evan Hodgens (
Tue, 14 Mar 1995 05:21:27 GMT

> Hi! Well, as I learned it "A.H.s" is sort of a "catch-all" classification for
> alot of hominids that don't look quite modern or exactly erectus. The derived
> changes from erectus include brain expansion, increased parietal breadth (and
> so lack of the characteristic pentagonal shape of erectus skulls), some
> decrease in molor size & increase in anterior teeth size, and a general
> decrease in cranial and postcranial robusticity. However, having said that,
> I must add that there is quite a bit of controversy over them. They are
> found over quite a widespread area (Africa, Asia, and Europe) and over a
> long period of time. Many appear to have mixed features -- erectus-archaic,
> archaic-modern. Neandertal is one special type of archaic, but again, you
> have alot of variation in some specimens, which appear less classicly
> Neandertal, but somewhat, etc. You are right that archaics do present a
> nasty problem if one does not agree with the regional continuity hypotheses,
> but, since they are such a confused group, I'm sure they have been explained
> away somehow. No, classic Neandertals have not been found in Africa, though
> other archaics have. (Broken Hill dating around 130,000ya; Bodo, to name 2)
> Neandertals had very specialized morphology, and were likely better adapted
> to a cold environment that the others. There is still alot of unanswered
> questions about this group as well. Hope this helps some.
> C R Cooper, Dept. of Anthropology, SUNY at Albany

I've read any number of times about the paucity of "transition" fossils between
one species and another, but "archaic homo sap" seems to fit the bill
doesn't it?
Neanderthals seem to be a fairly extreme outlier (particulary their robustness)
deserving of the status of a sub-species.

There is no such thing as a dumb question, but there IS such a thing as a dumb answer - I've given some.