Re: Homo Fossil timeline

Dan Barnes (
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 15:22:49 GMT

In article <51ilb3$>, says...
>Bob Keeter <> wrote:
>>Was there a "robust" Erectus in Asia that matched the
>>Neanderthal period?
>>Why would the Neanderthal physiology have been limited to
>>Europe and near east when the climatic changes that
>>supposedly favored the physique were considerably more
>>widespread? (Were there central/east Asian Neanderthals?
>>I think not?)
>>What are the morphological markers for Erectus vs Neanderthal
>>vs the different current races? Is it possible that the
>>European racial traits may have more in common with the
>>neanderthal whereas the Asian racial traits may be more
>>in common with the Erectus fossils? I am not implying that
>>the Mongoloid race is Homo Erectus, just wondering if, of
>>the characteristic traits of the earlier homo fossils, there
>>may be any grouping of these traits among modern man.
>The best discussion of this I read is from Christopher Stringer, from
>the British Museum of Natural History, in Chapter 36, _Paleoclimate
>and Evolution_ edited by Elisabeth Vrba, et al, Yale University Press.

What is the year of this book?

>He lists all of the main hominid fossils by region from one million
>years ago, classifying the first archaic H.sapiens as H.
>heidelbergensis, in both Africa and Eurasia at 500,00 yrs ago. Fossils
>classified a this way persist in Africa until 100,000 yrs, and in East
>Asia until a more recent period. Most recognize the first modern
>fossils dated at 100,000 yrs in both Africa and the Middle East, but
>not appearing in East Asia until 50,000 yrs. ago.
>Most accept a "true" Neanderthal presence in Europe and the middle
>east by 300,000 yrs, but Arsuaga (Nature 362:534) found three skulls
>in Spain from before this time that have features of both Neanderthals
>and H. heidelbergensis. No one has seriously considered Neanderthals
>out of these regions

A date of about 230 ka (Ehringsdorf, Pontnewydd, La Cotte) in Europe would
be better. Ns in the Middle East date to just over 100 ka. The Atapuerca finds
(Arsuaga) are probably ancestors of the Ns and date to about 300 ka.

>These are by no means widely accepted classifications, but summarize
>what appears to be the most popular held views. My own feeling about
>Neanderthals is that they evolved and became extinct with the other
>species of the European ice age, such as the cave bear and the giant
>deer. Humans did live in some of these environments, and there is an
>interesting discussion on giant deer in cave art by humans in the last
>issue of Natural History magazine.
>The later appearance of humans in the far east, including Australia by
>40,000 yrs suggests that moderns migrated into southern Asia, being
>more temperate, from the middle east. Moderns don't show in far
>northern Asia until about 10,000 yrs., and human DNA data have them
>migrating from the middle east.
Actually the moderns are in northern Asia at 40 - 50 ka. They don't appear in
northern China until 10 - 20 ka.