Homo Heidelbergensis

Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species of human that is identified in both Africa and western Eurasia from roughly 700,000 years ago onwards until around 200,000 years ago – fitting snugly within the Middle Pleistocene. Named for a piece of jawbone found near Heidelberg, Germany, these hominins occupy an intriguing and much-discussed spot in the jumble of human evolution; they are most commonly seen to have developed from Homo erectus and to have given rise to Homo sapiens in Africa and to the Neanderthals in Europe. However, exactly how or why (and even if) this happened, is the subject of much debate, and the same goes for the precise definition of this species – for instance, which fossils should be included and which should not.

Following the general view, though, Homo heidelbergensis is recognised as a distinct species that was a bit more brainy and inventive than its predecessors; fairly complex tools are associated with them, allowing us to catch a glimpse of possibly quite daring hunting strategies involving larger prey animals, which hints at the potential presence of social cooperation.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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