Archaic humans

As archaic Homo sapiens (also: early anatomically modern human ) fossils of the genus Homo are known, which are interpreted their dating and their appearance after ( " ancient " ) as an early, original copies of the species Homo sapiens. Two of the earliest finds, Omo 1 and Omo 2, come from Ethiopia and are considered to be 195,000 years old. On the basis of long bones, the body size of early anatomically modern humans could be reconstructed; it has thus amounted to about 177 cm.

Although it can be derived from fossils and from genetic analyzes (molecular clock ) that anatomically modern humans existed in the period 200000-100000 years already in Africa today, the time is not clearly defined, as era, this " archaic " Homo sapiens is called. Therefore, individual researchers describe certain findings - despite anderslautendem species name for these fossils - as " archaic forms " of Homo sapiens ( an approach that would result in extant species to morphospecies ), while other researchers evaluate the same findings in terms of a Chrono species, ie the older finds of the younger assign a Vorläuferart.

1903 Ludwig Wilser the name Homo primigenius had also re- introduced for a hypothetical primitive man in paleoanthropology, which had been proposed in 1868, Ernst Haeckel. This name was in the following years - repeatedly used for the temporal classification of fossils - in connection with fossils that are associated with the Neanderthals today.

Scientific name (Homo sapiens) and nomenclatural type

The oldest recorded demarcation of man from the animals is by Aristotle ( 384-322 BC). In his work, On the Parts of Animals, he mentions in Book IV, instead of forelegs man possessed arms and hands. Moreover, man is the only animal that stands upright - according to his godlike nature and his god-like being, which it zukomme to think and to reason. According to Aristotle, the people are different, therefore there are three characteristics of all other living beings: to be explicitly mentioned first, the exemption of the anterior extremities of an immediate assistance in locomotion, secondly, the upright gait and third, the intellectual faculties. According to the " rediscovery" of Aristotle's writings were the High Middle Ages, although the basis of the operated at the Universities of scholastic science, but even open-minded naturalists such as Conrad Gesner and Francis Willughby fell back behind Aristotle by represented the people away from any classification. John Johnstonus, however, was in 1632 in his book Thaumatographia naturalis one of the first European taxonomists, compared with those of at least some human characteristics of the animals.

Only Carl Linnaeus assigned to humans in 1735 in Systema Naturae his work back to the animal kingdom, first introduced by John Ray in order Anthropomorpha ( Multifarious people ), the part of the class Quadrupedia ( four-footed ) was. However, Linnaeus renounced - in contrast to his usual procedure - on an aligned on physical characteristics description of the genus Homo, but noted: " Nosce te ipsum " ( "Know thyself "). It was not until 1758, with the publication of the 10th edition of Linnaeus to classification of people significantly changed: he identified the people for a first time as Homo sapiens, and ordered him to the other now in the order of primates within the class of mammals, but again without diagnosis and without the later have become customary and mandatory since 1999 with respect to a particular individual as a scientific specimen copy ( holotype ). The waiver of a diagnosis had Linnaeus founded in 1747 in a letter to Johann Georg Gmelin as follows:

Linnaeus had never been able to observe an ape, but only a Barbary macaque females. The left by him gap initially tried to fill Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, as he in his thesis De generis humani varietate nativa ( "On natural differences in the human race " ) in 1775 four " varieties " of the people described that - as evidenced by numerous gradual transitions - a common "species " have sprung and their common features he turned out: the upright posture; the broad, shallow basin; two hands; " Teeth ranked in the same order at each other and lower incisors upright "; further: two feet with large, non- opponierbarem big toe, a short lower jaw with a clearly discernible chin and big lips and the existence of earlobe.

Went one step further until almost 200 years later the botanist William Thomas Stearn and declared 1959 Carl Linnaeus himself ( " Linnaeus himself" ) to the lectotype of the species Homo sapiens. This definition is correct according to the rules currently in force. Linnaeus 's remains (his bestattetes in Uppsala Cathedral skeleton) are therefore the nomenclatural type of the modern human species

In 1993, the paleontologist and dinosaur researcher Robert T. Bakker, he wanted to set the skull of paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope as a type specimen of Homo sapiens by "subsequent designation " of a lectotype. As an admirer Copes he intended to meet his last will. A determination as lectotype contradict addition to the priority rule, the rule in the nomenclature code, only such specimens can be selected as lectotype after that were part of the original type series, Linnaeus (1707-1778) had Cope (1840-1897), however, not known. Bakker could have set a neotype, under the assumption that the current lectotype is lost and there would have been proven to be an explicitly formulated exceptional need it. Since the identity of Homo sapiens but currently is not in doubt, such Neotypusfestlegung from the outset would not be valid. For a neotype more stringent requirements that Cope all not to have been fulfilled, for example, would this come from Sweden and it would have the research institution be named in which the neotype is kept - the skull of Cope appears in the relevant museum collection currently no longer be found to be. Bakkers intended type definition has not been validly published by himself, but was quoted, but this would in itself a valid type definition does not stand in the way only in the book Hunting Dinosaurs by Louie Psihoyos & Knoebber (1994).

Although the features mentioned by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach and the subsequent establishment of a type specimen allow to distinguish man from other animals alive today. However, they turn out not to be helpful, which have since discovered hominin fossils of the species Homo sapiens associate or distinguish them from her, because to date there is no satisfactory morphological definition of the type: was "Our species Homo sapiens never the subject of a formal morphological definition, the would help us to recognize our own kind in any useful way in the fossil record. "

The lack of diagnosis for Homo sapiens had - and still has - a significant impact on the allocation of hominin fossils to a particular type and for the delineation homininer species from each other. For example, the first remains of Neandertals were interpreted as malformed individuals of the species Homo sapiens. Later, up in the 1990s in, the Neanderthals were then referred to as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and modern humans as Homo sapiens sapiens, that is as closely related subspecies of Homo sapiens. Consequently, it had a common ancestor of the species Homo sapiens have given, " not modern " looked the fossils. As a result, all the finds that were sufficiently old and " not modern " were looked as " archaic " Homo sapiens titled. Following the discovery that Neanderthals and humans, although related, but had evolved independently from an African population of Homo erectus probably, two one each with its own species status was granted: Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens.

The most recent attempt at a list of " unique characteristics " ( autapomorphies ) of Homo sapiens, specially the basis of features in the area of ​​the forehead ( supraorbital region) and the chin published 2010 Jeffrey H. Schwartz and Ian Tattersall.

Starting from the name of the biological nature of man, Homo sapiens, numerous ajar because names have become established in other scientific areas.

Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis?

Parallel to correct the status of the Neanderthal was - especially by U.S. paleoanthropologists - the first later occasionally related only to the lower jaw of Mauer, to all European ancestors of the Neanderthal species Homo heidelbergensis as a link between African finds ( the hitherto universally regarded as Homo erectus been referred were ) and the later Homo sapiens defined. The oldest African, before Homo erectus fossils attributed to Homo ergaster are made by these researchers since then, the younger to Homo heidelbergensis. This part of the paleo-anthropologists located Homo erectus thus a purely Asian Chrono species a, so that emerged from this perspective, Homo heidelbergensis named from the Homo ergaster finds and the last common ancestor of African Neanderthals and modern humans was. Consequently, this is referred to by paleoanthropologists now Homo heidelbergensis as " archaic " Homo sapiens; an exact delimitation of its anatomical characteristics from those of Homo sapiens and Neanderthal ( a precise definition of its " unique selling points" ) but has not yet made.

Other U.S. and particularly European researchers use, however, to date, the name Homo erectus for the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, with the result that they themselves the mandible of wall - which is after all, the type specimen of Homo heidelbergensis - as Homo erectus heidelbergensis call. This in turn means that 400,000 -year-old or younger African finds can be referred depending on the viewing angle than later Homo erectus or archaic Homo sapiens.

Where was homo sapiens?

For terminological confusion can ensure further that some late Asian finds of Homo erectus ( about 280,000 before present), such as the Dali - man pose " anatomically an intermediate form between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens and is therefore sometimes classified as ' archaic Homo sapiens ' are "even though the first settlement of Asia by Homo sapiens only 240,000 years later took place.

In addition, the term Homo rhodesiensis, which had been elected in 1921 for a in Kabwe (then Northern Rhodesia ) discovered fossil, now occasionally to refer to the archaic Homo sapiens between the species Homo sapiens and Homo erectus found. The previously oldest undisputed to Homo sapiens Asked Fund, Homo sapiens idaltu, however, was not recognized by its discoverers as " archaic Homo sapiens " but as a "link " between archaic precursor species and the later modern humans.

Despite all the different names is undisputed among paleoanthropologists that the man now emerged from a native to Africa Homo population. In addition, it is merely a matter of perspective whether certain African fossil finds are reported, for example, as " later Homo erectus " or as "early Homo sapiens ", since the transition from a Chrono species to another took place in each case in small steps. Friedemann Schrenk therefore differed 1997, two stages of development for modern people "who are to be separated from each other due to the skull features " and ordered them fossils from the following localities to:

  • Previously archaic Homo sapiens (about 500000-200000 years): Kabwe ( = Homo rhodesiensis ), Saldanha (South Africa), Ndutu, Eyasi (Tanzania ), Bodo ( Ethiopia), Salé (Morocco) and - due to recent datings - Florisbad 1 ( South Africa = "Homo helmei " )
  • Later archaic Homo sapiens (about 200000-100000 years): Eliye Springs (West Turkana, Kenya), Laetoli (Tanzania ), Djebel Irhoud (Morocco ).

Other authors refer to the 200000-100000 year-old finds, including the discovered in Italy " Altamura Man" and Omo 1, instead as early anatomically modern humans.

In 2010, tooth finds from the Qesem Cave in Israel were known, dated 400000-200000 years, and have been attributed based on morphological characteristics Homo sapiens. There are three teeth of a human maxilla (tooth formula C1 - P4). Large similarities existed according to the authors with the finds from the caves of Skhul and Qafzeh Israeli, who are between 120000-90000 years, and so far were the oldest anatomically modern humans in the Levant. Although the findings of paleoanthropologists outside the Qesem working group was confirmed further independent verifications remain to be seen.

Gene flow from other Homo species to Homo sapiens

Since 2010, several studies were published in which the result of analysis of the genetic material has been reported from cell nuclei and mitochondria of fossils. According to these studies, there was - probably to around 110000-50000 years in the Middle East - to gene flow from Neanderthals to Homo sapiens. Furthermore, there was gene flow from the Denisova people as well as from previously unspecified African Homo populations to Homo sapiens.