Homo rhodesiensis

Lateral view of the original skull

  • Zambia

As Homo rhodesiensis (English Rhodesian one or Broken Hill Skull ) is a human skull fossil called that by the Swiss miner Tom Zwiglaar in a zinc and lead mine at Broken Hill ( Northern Rhodesia ) ( Kabwe in Zambia today ) was found in 1921. His archive number is Broken Hill or Kabwe 1 1

For fossil sites, having great importance for the study of primitive man, belong with the skull still an upper jaw, a sacrum, a tibia and a femur. The leg bones are the same individual attributed as the skull. The upper jaw is on a different skeleton, the assignment of the sacrum is unclear.

The bones are 125000-300000 years old. Original age determinations from 1.75 to 2.5 million years ago have been found to be faulty. The brain volume is 1,300 cc, which ( mostly point to smaller brain volumes) also excludes an older origin, in direct comparison with very old skulls.

The skull is described as breitgesichtig as the Neanderthal, but is in its expression between this and the modern man. According to the prevailing opinion of experts belonged to the group of homo rhodesiensis archaic Homo sapiens, so that the term Homo sapiens rhodesiensis was proposed. In some parts of the U.S. paleoanthropology where an application is made ​​to Homo heidelbergensis.

Because of the heavily worn teeth of the find is suspected, " that this individual took very rough food. It could have acted as roots, tubers and grains. Otherwise his diet probably looked similar to that of Homo heidelbergensis, "whose diet consisted of at least 80 percent plant components.


The name of the genus Homo is derived from the Latin homo [ hɔmo ː ] "man." The epithet rhodesiensis reminiscent of the locality of the type specimen in the former Northern Rhodesia. Homo rhodesiensis actually means " Rhodesian Man".