Human evolution in the Middle Pleistocene: The role of Homo heidelbergensis

  title={Human evolution in the Middle Pleistocene: The role of Homo heidelbergensis},
  author={G Philip Rightmire},
  journal={Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues},
For paleoanthropologists working in the Middle Pleistocene, these are interesting times. New discoveries of artifacts and human fossils have been reported from western Europe, so that it now looks as though this continent was populated 800,000 years ago, if not earlier. One of the fossils, from Ceprano in Italy, is described as Homo erectus. Whether this ancient species ever reached Europe has been repeatedly questioned, but the Ceprano cranium is complete enough to provide some hard evidence… 
Homo in the middle pleistocene: Hypodigms, variation, and species recognition
In this essay, the evidence available from Middle Pleistocene localities in Africa and Europe is emphasized, exploring variation among individuals, composition of hypodigms, species‐level taxonomy, and evolutionary relationships of the hominin populations.
Patterns of hominid evolution and dispersal in the Middle Pleistocene
Later Middle Pleistocene Homo
Hominin fossils are known fromMiddle Pleistocene localities in Africa, Europe, South Asia, and the Far East. It is recognized that these individuals display traits that are derived in comparison to
The Hominin colonisation of Europe in the Early and Middle Pleistocene: a review
During the last two decades, the Pleistocene archaeological and palaeontological record from Europe has increased in a significant manner. Several sites, in particular, Atapuerca and Dmanisi, have
A critical review of the German Paleolithic hominin record.
Continuity and/or Discontinuity in the Pleistocene peopling of Europe?
It is probable that the peopling of Europe during the entire Pleistocene was unique and presented from its very origins an “endemic” (a cul-de-sac) character, which may explain that the first traces of fossils in Europe illustrate particularities in comparison those from Africa and from Asia.
Human evolution at the Matuyama‐Brunhes boundary
The focus of the paper is on neither the origin nor the end of the story of the genus Homo, but rather its chronological and phylogenetic core, and a phenetic approach to cranial variation aimed at reviewing the Early‐to‐Middle Pleistocene trajectories of human evolution.
The origin of Neandertals
  • J. Hublin
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2009
The term “Homo rhodesiensis” is proposed to be used to designate the large-brained hominins ancestral to H. sapiens in Africa and at the root of the Neandertals in Europe, and the term ‘Homo neanderthalensis’ to designate all of the specimens carrying derived metrical or non-metrical features used in the definition of the LP NeandERTals.
Neanderthals and Their Contemporaries
Neanderthals are the group of fossil humans that inhabited Western Eurasia from the mid-Middle Pleistocene until ca. 40 Ka ago, when they disappeared from the fossil record, only a few millennia
Neandertal roots: Cranial and chronological evidence from Sima de los Huesos
The sample shows a consistent morphological pattern with derived Neandertal features present in the face and anterior vault, many of which are related to the masticatory apparatus, pointing to a mosaic pattern of evolution.


European and Northwest African Middle Pleistocene Hominids
European and Northwest African Middle Pleistocene Hominids by F. Clark Howell of human skeletal remains from the Middle Pleistocene has always been one of the greatest gaps in human-paleontological
A review of the chronology of the European Middle Pleistocene hominid record
Over the last seventy years, European hominid fossils and associated archaeological remains have been dated by reference to the classical, fourfold glacial/interglacial subdivision of the
A Plio-Pleistocene hominid from Dmanisi, East Georgia, Caucasus
The mandible found at Dmanisi is identified as belonging to the species Homo erectus, of which it is the earliest known representative in western Eurasia and shows a number of similarities to the African and Chinese representatives of this species.
The human cranium from Bodo, Ethiopia: evidence for speciation in the Middle Pleistocene?
Abstract The cranium found at Bodo in 1976 is derived from Middle Pleistocene deposits containing faunal remains and Acheulean artefacts. A parietal recovered later must belong to a second
Significance of some previously unrecognized apomorphies in the nasal region of Homo neanderthalensis.
  • J. Schwartz, I. Tattersall
  • Geography, Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1996
The purpose of this contribution is to describe specializations of the Neanderthal internal nasal region that make them unique not only among hominids but possibly among terrestrial mammals in general as well.
The morphological affinities of the Plio-Pleistocene mandible from Dmanisi, Georgia
The human mandible from Dmanisi, discovered in 1991, dates, according to current results, to probably the final Pliocene or early Pleistocene. It is thus of great importance for the understanding of
A hominid from the lower Pleistocene of Atapuerca, Spain: possible ancestor to Neandertals and modern humans.
Human fossil remains recovered from the TD6 level (Aurora stratum) of the lower Pleistocene cave site of Gran Dolina, Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, exhibit a unique combination of cranial, mandibular,
Age of the earliest known hominids in Java, Indonesia.
The hominid fossils, a juvenile calvaria of Pithecanthropus and a partial face and cranial fragments of Meganthropus, commonly considered part of the Asian Homo erectus hypodigm, are at least 0.6 million years older than fossils referred to as Homo erectu from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and comparable in age with the oldest Koobi Fora Homo cf.
Lower Pleistocene hominids and artifacts from Atapuerca-TD6 (Spain)
The Gran Dolina hominid fossils cannot be comfortably accommodated in any of the defined Homo species, and could be considered a primitive form of Homo heidelbergensis, but a new species might be named in the future if the sample is enlarged.
Three new human skulls from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain
The extensive Atapuerca human collection is the most complete sample of Middle Pleistocene humans yet discovered from one site, and appears to document an early stage in Neanderthal evolution.