Archaic Homo Sapiens

Handaxes ©Johnbod

Name:                                Archaic Homo Sapiens

Other names:                 Rhodesia Man; Swanscombe Man; Heidelberg Man

Age:                                    400,000 – 300,000 years ago

Height:                             Males 1.75 m (5′ 9″); Females 1.57m (5′ 2″)

Weight:                             Males 62 kg (136 lbs); Females 51 kg (112 lbs)

Brain Size:                       1100 – 1400 cc


                • Considered to be between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens
                • Large variety of forms within this classification
                • Spread across the world – Africa, Europe, India and China

Diet:                                     Hunted large to medium mammals – elephants, hippo, rhino,                                                      horse and deer.


                • They controlled fire
                • Burned wood for fire and tool production
                • Used mainly natural shelters but also built their own when needed
                • Shared food
                • Possible ritual activity with burials – evidence found at Atapuerca, Spain.

Tool Culture:                 Acheulian

                • Fire altered tools
                • Wooden spears
                • Hafted points
                • Hand axes
                • Carvers
                • Cleavers
                • Scrapers

Date Discovered:

                • Heidelberg Man – 1908
                • Rhodesia Man – 1921
                • Swanscombe Man – 1935

Area Discovered:

                • Heidelberg Man – Rösch, Nr. Heidelberg, Germany
                • Rhodesia Man – North Rhodesia, Africa
                • Swanscombe Man – Swanscombe, Kent, England

Who Discovered:

                • Heidelberg Man – Workmen
                • Rhodesia Man – Tom Zwiglaar, a Swiss miner
                • Swanscombe Man – Alvan Marston, a dentist


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  • Campbell. B. G. 2009. Human Evolution: An Introduction to Man’s Adaptions. Jersey, USA: Transaction Publishers.
  • Collins. D., Whitehouse. R., Henig. M., & Whitehouse. D. 1973. Background to Archaeology: Britain and its European Setting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cunliffe. B. 2001. The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Feder. K. L. 2007. The Past in Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory. London: McGraw Hill.
  • Gamble. C. 1999. The Palaeolithic Societies of Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Khanna. D. R. 2004. Human Evolution. New Delhi, India: Discovery Publishing House.
  • Turnbaugh. W. A., Jurmain. R., Kilgore. L., & Nelson. H. 2002. Understanding Physical Anthropology and Archaeology. 8th Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


One Comment on “Archaic Homo Sapiens

  1. Pingback: What is Glastonbury Ware? – Stone Tools from Dhoar, Oman – Malia, Crete | The Young Archaeologist

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