Homo heidelbergensis – Homo rhodesiensis – is an extinct species of the genus Homo that lived in Africa and western Asia between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago. The skulls of this species share features with both Homo erectus and anatomically modern Homo sapiens, its brain was nearly as large as that of Homo sapiens. The Sima de los Huesos cave at Atapuerca in northern Spain holds particularly rich layers of deposits that represent an exceptional reserve of data where excavations are still in progress. Neanderthals and modern humans are all considered to have descended from Homo heidelbergensis that appeared around 700,000 years ago in Africa, fossils have been recovered in Ethiopia and South Africa. Between 300,000 and 400,000 years ago a group of Homo heidelbergensis migrated into Europe and West Asia via yet unknown routes, archaeological sites exist in Spain, France, Germany and Greece. Another Homo heidelbergensis group ventured eastwards into continental Asia, eventually developing into Denisovans, some researchers suggest that the finds associated to Homo heidelbergensis are mere variants of Homo erectus.
Both Homo antecessor and Homo heidelbergensis are likely to have descended from the very similar Homo ergaster from Africa. The anatomy is more primitive than that of Neanderthal, but the harmoniously rounded dental arch. Heidelbergensis from other known human species, the species name heidelbergensis only experienced a renaissance with the many discoveries of the past 30 years and appears now to be recognized by an increasing number of researchers. Any form of segregation is considered arbitrary, which is why these researchers forgo the name H. heidelbergensis altogether. Paleoanthropologists often refer to the surrounding the specimens, their dating and morphology, as “the muddle in the middle. ”The fact that there seem to be no clear transitions makes it difficult to draw up a list of unique characteristics of H. heidelbergensis that distinguishes it from H. erectus. In general, the show a continuation of evolutionary trends that are emerging from around the Lower into Middle Pleistocene.
Along with changes in the robustness of cranial and dental features, male H. heidelbergensis averaged about 1.75 m tall and 62 kg. Females averaged 1.57 m and 51 kg, the available space would allow for a far greater flexibility of development and It shows a combination of features, which has been previously found neither on a recent nor a fossil human mandible. The actual proof that we are dealing with human parts here only lies within the nature of the dentition, the completely preserved teeth bear the stamp human as evidence, The canines show no trace of a stronger expression in relation to the other groups of teeth. They suggest a moderate and harmonious co-evolution, as it is the case in recent humans, recent findings in a pit in Atapuerca of 28 human skeletons suggest that H. heidelbergensis might have been the first species of the Homo genus to bury its dead. Steven Mithen believes that H. heidelbergensis, like its descendant H. neanderthalensis, acquired a pre-linguistic system of communication.
No forms of art have been uncovered, although red ochre, the morphology of the outer and middle ear suggests they had an auditory sensitivity similar to modern humans and very different from chimpanzees
The Manot Cave is a cave in Western Galilee, discovered in 2008. It is notable for the discovery of a skull that belongs to a modern human, the partial skull was discovered at the beginning of the caves exploration in 2008. Its significance was realised after detailed analysis, and was first published in an online edition of Nature on 28 January 2015. This age implies that the specimen is the oldest known human outside Africa, the cave is noted for its impressive archaeological record of flint and bone artefacts. Geologically, it is a stalactite cave. The Manot Cave is situated in Western Galilee, about 10 km north of the HaYonim Cave and 50 km northeast of Mt. Carmel Cave and it was discovered accidentally during a construction work in 2008 when a bulldozer struck open its roof. Experts from the Cave Research Unit of Hebrew University of Jerusalem immediately made the initial survey, important finds were stone tools, charcoal pieces, and human remains. The tools consisted of a Levallois point, bladelets, overpassed blades, there were remains of fallow deer, red deer, mountain gazelle, aurochs and bear.
The major find was an almost complete human skull, the finds were reported to the Israel Antiquities Authority, which granted another survey. Ofer Marder and H. Khalaily made the survey and found that it was an archaeological site. Recognising its importance, the IAA granted a full-scale excavation in 2010, the Manot Cave consists of a lengthy hall,80 m long and between 10m and 25m wide. Two lower chambers are connected to it north and south. It is possible that the entrances were at both the eastern and western ends. The cave has active stalagmite formations, archaeological remains indicate that the most recent artifacts belong to the Early Palaeolithic period. This further indicates that the cave had been sealed for at least 15,000 years. The blockage was due to rock falls and active stalagmites at the main entrances. The most important find in the cave is a skullcap of a modern human. The specimen is estimated to be 54,700 years old, if correct, the find is significant
Garrod was the daughter of the physician Sir Archibald Garrod and was raised at her family home in Melton, Suffolk by a number of governesses. In 1913, she entered Newnham College, Cambridge where she was one of few women students. Garrod left Newnham with a second degree and undertook war work until she was demobilised in 1919. By this time she had lost three brothers and she went to Malta where her father was working and to occupy herself she took an interest in the local antiquities. It was Marett who inspired Garrod to be a prehistorian and she was able to spend two years with the leading French prehistorian Abbé Breuil. Breuil had already visited Gibraltar and he recommended that Garrod investigate Devils Tower Cave which was only 350 metres from Forbes Quarry where a Neanderthal skull had found previously. Devils Tower Cave had been discovered by Breuil on a visit to Gibraltar with William Willoughby Cole Verner. Garrod discovered the important Neanderthal skull now called Gibraltar 2 in this cave the early 1920s, between 1925 and 1926 she excavated in Gibraltar and in 1928 led an expedition through South Kurdistan that led to the excavation of Hazar Merd Cave and Zarzi cave.
A preliminary survey however found not only Natufian deposits but prehistoric art objects, as a consequence, decisions were taken in London that there would not be a quarry and Garrod was requested to undertake further investigations into three caves. Her work was a contribution to the understanding of the prehistoric sequence in the region. She coined the label for the late Epipalaeolithic Natufian culture following her excavations at Es Skhul. The chronological framework established by her excavations in the Levant remain crucial to the present understanding of that prehistoric period and she was based at the RAF Medmenham photographic interpretation unit as a section officer. Dorothy Garrod was the first female professor at Cambridge and it was not until 1947 that full membership for women was granted by Cambridge University. The archaeology writer Brian Fagan stated that Garrod had been a quiet, self-effacing chair and she was unaccustomed to the hierarchy and negotiation style of her senior academic colleagues.
He added that although her reforms within the department were important, Garrod was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1952. In 1965, she was awarded the CBE and she felt it was important that archaeologists travel and therefore left money to found the Dorothy Garrod Travel Fund. Ladies of the Field, Early Women Archaeologists and Their Search for Adventure, ISBN 978-1-55365-433-9 Davies and Ruth Charles Dorothy Garrod and the Progress of the Palaeolithic, Studies in the Prehistoric Archaeology of the Near East and Europe Oxford, Oxbow Books. Dorothy Garrod as the First Woman Professor at Cambridge University Antiquity 74, from small and alive to cripplingly shy, Dorothy Garrod as the first woman Professor at Cambridge
Zhoukoudian or Choukoutien is a cave system in Beijing, China. Dates of when Peking Man inhabited this site vary greatly,700, 000-200,000 years ago,670, 000-470,000 years ago and no earlier than 530,000 years ago. The Peking Man Site was first discovered by Johan Gunnar Andersson in 1921 and was first excavated by Otto Zdansky in 1921 and 1923 unearthing two human teeth and these were identified by Davidson Black as belonging to a previously unknown species and extensive excavations followed. Fissures in the limestone containing middle Pleistocene deposits have yielded the remains of about 45 individuals as well as animal remains and stone flake and chopping tools. The oldest animal remains date from as early as 690,000 years ago, during the Upper Palaeolithic, the site was re-occupied and remains of Homo sapiens and its stone and bone tools have been recovered from the Upper Cave. The crater Choukoutien on asteroid 243 Ida was named after the location, the caves are located in Fangshan District, southwest of central Beijing.
Granger were led to the known as Dragon Bone Hill by local quarry men. Noticing some white quartz that was foreign to the area he immediately realised that this would be a place to search for the remains of primitive man. In 1926 Anderson announced the discovery of two human molars amongst this material and the following year Zdansky published his finding cautiously identifying the teeth as. Homo sp. Canis c. f. variabilis, commonly known as the Zhoukoudian wolf, were found at the Zhoukoudian cave system and archaeological site in 1934 and named by its discoverer, funding was granted and the Zhoukoudian Project commenced excavations in 1927 under the supervision of Chinese archaeologist Li Jie. That fall, a tooth was unearthed by Swedish paleontologist Anders Birger Bohlin for which Black proposed belonged a new species named Sinanthropus pekinensis. The following year Blacks excavations uncovered more fossils of his new species including teeth, a part of a juveniles jaw. These finds allowed Black to secure an extra $80,000 grant from the Foundation which he used to establish a research laboratory, Black stayed on at the Laboratory as honorary director while excavations continued at the site under Chinese paleontologist Yang Zhongjian, anthropologists Pei Wenzhong and Jia Lanpo.
Conditions at the site were primitive, with scientists having to ride out to the excavation on mules and staying at caravansaries along the way. When the first skullcap was unearthed at the site in 1929, it was done by Pei, working in a 40-meter crevasse in frigid weather with a hammer in one hand and a candle in the other. A second skullcap is discovered close to the first in 1930, despite the conditions at the site eminent researchers continued to visit. French palaeontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin had been a visitor to the site since 1926. French archaeologist Henri Breuil visited in 1931 and confirmed the presence of stone tools and that same year evidence of the use of fire at the cave was accepted
The Paar Cave is a karstic sinkhole in the Upper Galilee, Israel. The cave is located between the Adir peak, and kibbutz Sasa, the sinkhole channels the water flowing from the Paar stream to groundwater level. The cave is part of a 14-dunam nature reserve, declared in 1967, the reserve is home to Palestine Oak and Quercus infectoria oak trees, Hawthorn trees, Dog Rose bushes, and Sternbergia bulb flowers
A cave is a hollow place in the ground, specifically a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. Caves form naturally by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground, the word cave can refer to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos. A cavern is a type of cave, naturally formed in soluble rock with the ability to grow speleothems. Speleology is the science of exploration and study of all aspects of caves, visiting or exploring caves for recreation may be called caving, potholing, or spelunking. The formation and development of caves is known as speleogenesis, which can occur over the course of millions of years, caves are formed by various geologic processes and can be variable sizes. These may involve a combination of processes, erosion from water, tectonic forces, pressure. Isotopic dating techniques can be applied to cave sediments, in order to determine the timescale when geologic events may have occurred to help form and it is estimated that the maximum depth of a cave cannot be more than 3,000 metres due to the pressure of overlying rocks.
For karst caves the maximum depth is determined on the basis of the limit of karst forming processes. Most caves are formed in limestone by dissolution, solutional caves or karst caves are the most frequently occurring caves and such caves form in rock that is soluble. Most occur in limestone, but they can form in other rocks including chalk, marble, salt. Rock is dissolved by acid in groundwater that seeps through bedding planes, joints. Over geological epochs cracks expand to become caves and cave systems, the largest and most abundant solutional caves are located in limestone. Limestone dissolves under the action of rainwater and groundwater charged with H2CO3, the dissolution process produces a distinctive landform known as karst, characterized by sinkholes and underground drainage. Limestone caves are often adorned with calcium carbonate formations produced through slow precipitation and these include flowstones, stalagmites, soda straws and columns. These secondary mineral deposits in caves are called speleothems, the portions of a solutional cave that are below the water table or the local level of the groundwater will be flooded.
Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico and nearby Carlsbad Cavern are now believed to be examples of type of solutional cave. They were formed by H2S gas rising from below, where reservoirs of oil give off sulfurous fumes and this gas mixes with ground water and forms H2SO4. The acid dissolves the limestone from below, rather than from above, caves formed at the same time as the surrounding rock are called primary caves
Nahal Amud, known as the Wadi Amud, is a stream in the Upper Galilee region of Israel that spills into the Sea of Galilee. The streams source, Ramat Dalton, is located 800 meters above sea level, the stream is named after a pillar that rises high above ground and is located near a channel of the stream near Kibbutz Hukok. The gorge that forms the channel at this point holds many caves once inhabited by Homo heidelbergensis and they were the object of the first paleoanthropological excavations in Mandatory Palestine in 1925–1926. The caves contained hominin remains as well as Mousterian and Acheulean artifacts, most of Nahal Amud was declared a nature reserve in 1972
Es Skhul is a prehistoric cave site situated 20 km south of the city of Haifa and around 3 km from the Mediterranean Sea. The site was first excavated by Dorothy Garrod during summer of 1928, the excavation revealed the first evidence of the late Epipaleolithic Natufian culture, characterized by the presence of numerous microlith stone tools, human burials and ground stone tools. Skhul represents an area where Neanderthals - present in the region from 200,000 to 45,000 years ago - lived alongside these humans dating to 100,000 years ago, the cave has Middle Palaeolithic layers
Sir Arthur Keith FRS was a Scottish anatomist and anthropologist. He was a fellow and the Hunterian Professor and conservator of the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, a leading figure in the study of human fossils, he became President of the Royal Anthropological Institute. The latter role stimulated his interest in the subject of evolution, leading to the publication of his book A New Theory of Human Evolution. Man had evolved, he claimed, through his tendency to live in small competing communities and he is famous for discovering the sinoatrial node, the component of the heart which makes it beat, with his student Martin Flack in 1906. He was born at Quarry Farm near Old Machar in Aberdeenshire, the son of John Keith, a farmer and he eas educated at Gordons College in Aberdeen. He obtained a Bachelor of Medicine at the University of Aberdeen in 1888, on returning to Britain in 1892, Keith studied anatomy at University College London and at the University of Aberdeen.
It was at Aberdeen where Keith won the first Struthers Prize in 1893 for his demonstration of ligaments in humans, in 1894, he was made a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He studied primate skulls, and in 1897 he published An Introduction to the Study of Anthropoid Apes, other works include Human Embryology and Morphology, Ancient Types of Man, The Antiquity of Man, Concerning Mans Origins, and A New Theory of Human Evolution. Keith was editor of the Journal of Anatomy between 1915 and 1936 and elected President of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland for 1918 to 1920 and he gave the 1927 presidential address to the British Association meeting in Leeds. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1913 and he was knighted in 1921, and he published New Discoveries in 1931. In 1932, he helped found an institute in Downe, Kent. In 1899 he married Cecilia Caroline Gray and he died in Downe House in Kent on 7 January 1955. British anthropologists Keith and Grafton Elliot Smith were both fixed on European origin of humankind and were in opposition to models of Asian and African origin, in 1925 Raymond Dart announced the discovery of Australopithecus africanus, which he claimed was evidence for an early human ancestor in Africa.
The British anthropologists of the time, who believed in the European hypothesis. Keith, for example, described “Darts child” as a juvenile ape, in 1931, with John Walter Gregory, he delivered the annual Conway Hall lecture entitled Race as a Political Factor. The lecture contained as its abstract, The three primary racial groups within the species are the Caucasian and negroid. Hence racial segregation is to be recommended, the different races can still assist, and co-operate with, each other, in the interests of peace and harmony. Keith was a proponent of the Piltdown Man
Skhul and Qafzeh hominins
The Skhul/Qafzeh hominids or Qafzeh–Skhul early modern humans are hominid fossils discovered in the Qafzeh and Es Skhul Caves in Israel. Skhul Cave is on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Qafzeh Cave is a rockshelter in Lower Galilee, the remains exhibit a mix of traits found in archaic and anatomically modern humans. They have been dated at about 80, 000-120,000 years old using electron paramagnetic resonance and thermoluminescence dating techniques. The brain case is similar to humans, but they possess brow ridges. They were initially regarded as transitional from Neandertals to modern humans, the discovery of modern human made tools from about 125,000 years ago at Jebel Faya, United Arab Emirates, in the Arabian Peninsula, may be from an even earlier exit of modern humans from Africa. They use a ratio of formal and expedient cores within assemblages to demonstrate either early Homo sapiens or Neandertal mobility patterns, non-African modern humans contain 1-4% Neandertal genetic material, with hybridization possibly having taken place in the Middle East.
It has been suggested, that the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids represent an extinct lineage, if this is the case, modern humans would have re-exited Africa around 70,000 years ago, crossing the narrow Bab-el-Mandeb strait between Eritrea and the Arabian Peninsula. This is the route proposed to have been taken by the people who made the modern tools at Jebel Faya. The Skhul remains were discovered between 1929 and 1935 at a cave located in Es Skhul in Mount Carmel, the remains of seven adults and three children were found, some of which may have been deliberate burials. Skhul Layer B has been dated to an average of 81, 000-101,000 years ago with the electron spin resonance method, Skhul 5 was a burial with the mandible of a wild boar on the chest. The skull displays prominent supraorbital ridges and jutting jaw, but the braincase of modern humans. When found, it was assumed to be an advanced Neanderthal, Qafzeh cave opens onto a wall of Wadi el Hadj in the flank of Mount Precipice. Excavation of the cave by René Neuville began in 1934 and resulted in the discovery of the remains of 5 individuals in the Mousterian levels, which was called the Levalloiso-Mousterian.
The marine shells were brought from Mediterranean Sea shore some 35 km away, the shells were complete, naturally perforated, and several showed traces of having been strung, and a few had ochre stains on them. The remains of 15 hominids were recovered in total from Qafzeh within a Mousterian archaeological context, remains of Qafzeh,8,9,10,11,13 and 15 were burials. The various layers at Qafzeh were dated to an average of 96, from the skull and teeth structure, the remains are believed to be of a young male. A double grave found in 1969 contained the skeleton of an adult, thought to be a female, Qafzeh 9 has a high forehead, lack of occipital bun, a distinct chin, but an orthognathic face. Found in 1971 was the grave of an adolescent buried in a pit dug in the bed rock
Cave of Letters
The Cave of Letters is a cave in Nahal Hever in the Judean Desert where letters and fragments of papyri from the Roman Empire period were found. Some are related to the Bar Kokhba revolt, including letters of correspondence between Bar-Kokhba and his subordinates, another notable bundle of papyri, known as the Babatha cache, comprises legal documents of Babatha, a female landowner of the same period. The cave is located at the head of Nahal Hever in the Judean desert, the site is a few kilometers southwest of En-gedi, approximately 10 kilometers north of Masada, on the western shore of the Dead Sea. The cave has two openings, three halls and some crevices, the cave was discovered by Bedouin of the Taamireh tribe and explored in 1953 and 1955 by inspector of the Israel Department of Antiquities, Yohanan Aharoni. In 1953, after the sale of letters written by Bar-Kokhba found in the caves of Wadi Murabbaat, however the expedition first visited Nahal Hever, where the team noticed remnants of a Roman siege camp directly above the Cave of Letters.
Another camp was discovered on the southern side of the ravine. In the Cave of Letters, archaeologists found Chalcolithic remains from the 4th millennium BCE as well as artifacts from the Roman period, further exploration of the cave was abandoned because of some boulders obstructing access to other parts of the cave. It was not until 1960, when more documents from the Bar-Kokhba Revolt were sold to scholars in Jordan, on March 23,1960, four teams set out to explore the caves over a period of two weeks. Yigael Yadin led a team to search the northern side of the ravine at Nahal Hever, the first finding was of a niche of skulls. Tucked away in a crevasse opening were remains of skeletons, wrapped in textiles. One skeleton was covered by a mat and other textiles. The textiles found were some of the earliest known of the Roman period and were dated around 135, other finds of archeological significance were samples Bar Kochba Revolt coinage, inscribed on one side Shimeon and on the other, to the Freedom of Jerusalem.
Some arrows were found at the entrance to the cave, and they had been made with Roman images on them but the faces of the various pagan gods and creatures were defaced. A tied bundle of documents, the Bar-Kokhba letters, was found in a waterskin, next to what were apparently a womans belongings, cosmetic tools, beads, a perfume flask and a mirror. Of fifteen letters, most were written in Aramaic and Hebrew, most were addressed from the leader to his subordinates Yehonathan and Masabala, who sat at En-Gedi. Yadin theorized Yehonathan and Masabala finally carried their cache to the cave, the four slats of wood tied together with the other papyri was the only one of the letters that was used the words Nasi Israel. The letter warns that no one should give shelter to any man from Tekoa. This warning includes the description of the punishment, Concerning every man of Tekoa who will be found at your place – the house in which they dwell will be burned and you will be punished
Mousterian is a name given by archaeologists to a style of predominantly flint tools associated primarily with Neanderthals. They date to the Middle Paleolithic, the part of the European Old Stone Age. The culture was named after the site of Le Moustier. Similar flintwork has been all over unglaciated Europe and the Near East. Handaxes and points constitute the industry, sometimes a Levallois technique or another prepared-core technique was employed in making the flint flakes, Mousterian tools that have been found in Europe were made by Neanderthals and date from around 160,000 BP and 40,000 BP. In North Africa and the Near East, Mouseterian tools were produced by anatomically modern humans. In the Levant, for example, assemblages produced by Neanderthals are indistinguishable from those made by Qafzeh type modern humans, possible variants are Denticulate, Charentian named after the Charente region and the Acheulean Tradition - Type-A and Type-B. The industry continued alongside the new Châtelperronian industry during the 45, Mousterian artifacts have been found in Haua Fteah in Cyrenaica and other sites in Northwest Africa.
Contained within a cave in the Syria region, along with a Neanderthaloid skeleton, located in the Haibak valley of Afghanistan. Zagros and Central Iran The archaeological site of Atapuerca, gorhams Cave in Gibraltar contains Mousterian objects. Uzbekistan has sites of Mousterian culture, including Teshik-Tash, siberia has many sites with Mousterian style implements, eg Denisova Cave. Neanderthal extinction hypotheses Synoptic table of the old world prehistoric cultures Levallois technique Neanderthals’ Last Stand Is Traced — New York Times article