Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo, which radiated in the Middle Pleistocene from about 700,000 to 300,000 years ago. African H. heidelbergensis has 4 subspecies: H. h. heidelbergensis, H. h. daliensis, H. h. rhodesiensis, H. h. steinheimensis. The derivation of H. sapiens from H. rhodesiensis has been proposed, but is obscured by a fossil gap from 400–260 kya. The species was named Homo heidelbergensis due to the skeleton's first discovery near Heidelberg, Germany; the first discovery—a mandible—was made in 1907 by Otto Schoetensack. The skulls of this species share features with modern humans; the Sima de los Huesos cave at Atapuerca in northern Spain holds rich layers of deposits where excavations were still in progress as of 2018. H. Heidelbergensis was dispersed throughout Southern Africa as well as Europe, its exact relation both to the earlier H. antecessor and H. ergaster, to the species Neanderthals and modern humans is unclear.
Modern humans have been proposed to derive from H. heidelbergensis via H. rhodesiensis, present in East and North Africa from around 400 kya. The correct assignment of many fossils to a particular chronospecies is difficult and differences in opinion ensue among paleoanthropologists due to the absence of universally accepted dividing lines between H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, Neanderthals. It is uncertain whether H. heidelbergensis is ancestral to modern humans, as a fossil gap in Africa between 400–260 thousand years ago obscures the presumed derivation of H. sapiens from H. rhodesiensis. Genetic analysis of the Sima de los Huesos fossils seems to suggest that H. heidelbergensis in its entirety should be included in the Neanderthal lineage, as "pre-Neanderthal" or "archaic Neanderthal" or "early Neanderthal", while the divergence time between the Neanderthal and modern lineages has been pushed back to before the emergence of H. heidelbergensis, to about 600,000 to 800,000 years ago, the approximate time of the disappearance of Homo antecessor.
The delineation between early H. heidelbergensis and H. erectus is unclear. H. heidelbergensis is thought to be derived from Homo antecessor around 800,000 to 700,000 years ago. The oldest-known fossil classified as H. heidelbergensis dates to around 600,000 years ago, but the flint tools found in 2005 at Pakefield near Lowestoft in Suffolk with teeth from the water vole Mimomys savini, a key dating species, suggest human presence in England at 700,000 years ago, assumed to correspond to a transitional form between H. antecessor and H. heidelbergensis. Fifty prehistoric hominid footprints up to nearly one million years old were discovered in Happisburgh, England, they are members of Homo antecessor that lived from 1.2 million to 800,000 years ago. In Europe, H. heidelbergensis is taken to have given rise to H. neanderthalensis at 240,000 years ago. Homo sapiens most derived from H. rhodesiensis after around 300,000 years ago. A morphological separation of a European and an African branch of H. heidelbergensis during the Wolstonian Stage and Ipswichian Stage, the last of the prolonged Quaternary glacial periods, has been argued based on the evidence of the Atapuerca skull in Spain and the Kabwe skull in modern-day Zambia.
Neither the derivation of H. heidelbergensis from H. erectus, nor the derivation of anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals from H. heidelbergensis, are clear-cut and are the object of debate. Both H. erectus and H. heidelbergensis are described as polytypic species, which went through a number of population bottlenecks and associated events. In the summary of Hublin, Middle Pleistocene humans in Eurasia underwent a succession of population bottlenecks due to glaciations; the "Western Eurasian clade" derived form H. rhodesiensis or H. heidelbergensis sensu lato diverge at MIS 12 but coalesce as late as MIS 5, suggesting a division between Eurasian H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis before MIS 11. A fossil gap in Africa between 400 and 260 kya obscures the presumed derivation of H. sapiens from H. rhodesiensis. Chris Stringer argues for Homo heidelbergensis as an independent chronospecies. A 2013 genetic study on the Sima de los Huesos fossils classified them as H. heidelbergensis or "early Neanderthal".
For more than half a century, many experts were reluctant to accept Homo heidelbergensis as a separate taxon due to the rarity of specimens, which prevented sufficient informative morphological comparisons and the distinction of H. heidelbergensis from other known human species. The species name "heidelbergensis" only experienced a renaissance with the many discoveries of Middle Pleistocene fossils since the 1990s; the paleontology institute at Heidelberg University, where the type specimen has been kept since 1908, as late as 2010 still classified it as Homo erectus heidelbergensis, i.e. categorizing it as a Homo erectus subspecies. This was changed to Homo heidelbergensis, accepting the categorization as separate species, in 2015."Rhodesian Man" is now classified as Homo heidelbergensis, though other designations such as Homo sapiens arcaicus and Homo sapiens rhodesiensis have been proposed. White et al. suggested Rhodesian Man as ancestral to Homo sapiens idaltu. Homo heidelbergensis is intermediate between Homo erectus and H
Jonathan Oldbuck is the leading character in Sir Walter Scott's 1816 novel The Antiquary. In accordance with Scottish custom he is addressed by the name of his house, Monkbarns, he is devoted to the study and collection of old coins and archaeological relics, has a marked tendency to misogyny due to disappointment in an early love affair. His characteristics have been traced back to several men known to Scott, to the author himself, an enthusiastic antiquary. Many critics have considered him one of Scott's finest creations. Jonathan Oldbuck is the laird of a country house on the north-east coast of Scotland. Returning from a trip to Edinburgh he falls in with a young Englishman calling himself Lovel, befriends him, spends time showing him the local historical sights, though Oldbuck’s antiquarian gullibility is comically exposed by an acquaintance, the beggar Edie Ochiltree. Oldbuck quarrels with an old friend, an antiquarian dilettante called Sir Arthur Wardour, but they are reconciled after Wardour narrowly escapes death by drowning.
He proposes that Lovel write a long historical poem to be called The Caledoniad, offers to write the scholarly notes to it. They are invited on a trip to the ruins of Saint Ruth's Priory, where the party discuss a treasure rumoured to be buried there; when another member of the party, the fraudulent German alchemist Herman Dousterswivel, succeeds in getting money from Wardour to finance a search for the treasure Oldbuck warns his friend against the charlatan. Without Dousterswivel's help Oldbuck and Wardour discover a hoard of silver ingots. Oldbuck begins to find his troubles multiplying. On the one hand his hot-headed young nephew Hector M'Intyre, shot by Lovel in a duel, is convalescing at Monkbarns and upsetting the smooth running of the household. Oldbuck attends his funeral, on a visit to the dead man’s father’s cottage encounters the Earl of Glenallan, awakening painful memories. We learn that Oldbuck had once loved a certain Eveline Neville, who had preferred to secretly marry Glenallan, but the marriage had ended with the wife’s suicide, the husband's nervous breakdown, the spiriting away of their only son.
Now, after many years, Glenallan wants to find this son, Oldbuck agrees to help him. He has to help to get the beggar Ochiltree, accused of an assault on Dousterswivel, freed from prison, to advise the hapless Wardour on how to handle his impending bankruptcy; the novel ends with a rumour of impending French invasion, which rouses Oldbuck and the whole town of Fairport to take up arms and if necessary fight for their country together. This false alarm is suppressed by the arrival of a famous cavalry officer, Major Neville, who proves to be not only Oldbuck's friend Lovel but Glenallan's son. So the Antiquary can return to his life of contented historical research. Oldbuck functions in the novel as a comic foil to the down-to-earth realist Ochiltree, the gothically tragic Glenallan, the absurdly self-important Wardour; the most obvious aspect of his character is an obsessive devotion to the pursuit of antiquarianism. He writes on castrametation, the science of ancient fortification, contributes papers on learned subjects to journals.
His devotion to his scholarship, his celibacy, make him a modern equivalent of the monks of St. Ruth’s Priory, as he recognises himself, but this enthusiasm can lead him into self-delusion, as with his supposed Roman camp, in fact built as a shelter by local peasants only twenty years before because his approach to the past is not that of a scientific historian, deducing hypotheses from solid evidence, but that of an antiquary, forming opinions first and justifying them with whatever evidence comes to hand afterwards. He has a legal training, believes in its usefulness in all matters of business, but in the early stages of the novel both his antiquarian and his legal skills tend to be in practice of little use to him, he is, like his author, a Stoic. His rejection by Eveline Neville has left him with an marked lack of regard for “womankind”, but has not embittered him to the extent of drying up all capacity for human sympathy, his futility as an agent in human affairs is only ended when he begins to feel for the troubles of others, to listen and observe rather than acting on preconceived theories.
As A. N. Wilson says, “Oldbuck’s stature as a man is measured by the depth of his sympathies, by his Christian charity”. Though Oldbuck is in politics a Whig and a supporter of the French Revolution, yet at the novel's end when the Revolution seems to be coming too close to home he finds himself to be a patriot ready to fight for his country; the writer W. S. Crockett considered Jonathan Oldbuck to be more based on real-life models than any other of Scott's characters, Edie Ochiltree alone excepted. Scott himself tells us that the character was loosely based on a friend of his father’s, one George Constable, a retired lawyer who lived at a country house called Wallace-Craigie, near Dundee. Scott first got to know him when only six years old, for the first time learned from Constable about Falstaff and other characters from Shakespeare. Scott’s biographer Hesketh Pearson attributes to this the fact that The Antiquary contains more quotations from and allusions to Shakespeare than any other of his novels.
The resemblance between the real and fictional characters was detected by a frie