Talk:Archaic humans

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Merge with Neandertal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I don't believe that this article should be merged with the Neandertals article. Although homo sapiens neandertalensis is qualified as a form of archaic homo sapiens, not all archaic homo sapiens fall under the category of Neandertals. For example, there is the possibility that homo heidelbrgensis is a form of archaic homo sapiens, as it is sure that another form of archaic h.s., homo sapiens idaltu, should not be qualified as a neandertal. In addition, there is the possibility that other species of archaic h.s. have yet to be discovered, therefore the category should be kept in close relation to, but not subsumed by, Neandertals. Blue Mage Az 00:58, 7 December 2006 (UTC)Blue_Mage_Az

Neaderthalensis is not a qualified for of Homo sapiens. DNA shows that we do not share any DNA with them (but they do with us). 131.91.92.184 (talk) 20:26, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

I also disagree with the merge. This term is somewhat troublesome in that it (like Cro magnon) is used in Anthropology but is not a species name. It denotes early homo sapiens sapiens that have somewhat different anatomical features. It does not refer to neaderthals who are a different species (or subspecies). I wish it were more clear and maybe we could have something like homo sapiens archaic, but I have not seen any scientific backing for that kind of classification. Nowimnthing 23:06, 6 February 2007 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Title[edit]

The title should refer to "Archaic Homo sapiens" as "Archaic Homo" in this way it can be more inclusive. I'm a graduate student in anthropology and I am not aware of anyone using "Archaic Homo sapiens" in the literature. The name change would make it so that antecessor, rhodesiensis, heidelbergensis and neaderthalensis can be given an overview here. [Special:Contributions/131.91.92.184|131.91.92.184]] (talk) 20:18, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Nevertheless, for readers who try to find "Archaic Homo sapiens," "Archaic Homo sapiens" needs to redirect here ("Archaic humans"). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.123.10.1 (talk) 18:58, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Here's a random example of the use of "archaic Homo sapiens" in a scientific paper. There's some 11k Ghits so it's not an entirely obscure term. Orcoteuthis (talk) 19:12, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Title has been changed to 'Archaic human' to avoid confusion (and to avoid endorsing a mostly outdated taxonomy). Kaldari (talk) 08:18, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Where did the date for the Valltorta painting come from?[edit]

I'm just curious where the author got the information that the Valltorta painting dates to 13,000 years ago. That area of the world happens to be my academic specialty, and I don't think I've seen anyone argue for that kind of antiquity since the Abbé Breuil first studied the paintings in the early 1900s. I would like to know what the reference is so that I can look it up!

In any case, a better example of palaeolithic cave art would be someplace like Lascaux, Chauvet Cave or Altamira. I changed the image reference for this page accordingly. Mander (talk) 07:53, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

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Wrong picture[edit]

I disagree with the use of the Lascaux painting image... mainly because this article concerns ARCHAIC Homo sapiens. The mural art of Lascaux belongs to the magdalenian culture, 17 000 years old maximum, and that's definitily modern ! not only in terms of technology and art (similar level of the Inuit culture) but also in anatomical terms. I think we should talk about archaic Homo sapiens in the case of fossils older than 100 000 years old, or at least may be for those ones who still lived during Neandertal times (50 000 BP / 30 000 BP), because of this controversial possibility of mixing genomes... but Lascaux paintings were definitily painted by modern looking humans, not archaic. 343KKT Kintaro (talk) 14:40, 11 July 2008 (UTC)


Homo sapiens idaltu[edit]

First off, this is not the oldest modern human to be found. That honor goes to Omo at 195 kya. Secondly, I agree with those who find the very term "archaic Homo sapiens" troublesome. What is it? I think I agree with idea of over 100 kya. That is about the date of the first H. sapien African migration, Qafez. (frankly, the other idea of concurrent evolution worldwide from a slew of different species seems far fetched). Also, the date of modern humans evolving 400 kya is much older than I've ever heard, even from the multi-regional model. I believe this is a biology article, not an anthropology article and should use the terms of that field. This whole article needs reworking. -- humanevolutiongeek —Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.50.4.4 (talk) 22:22, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Wholeheartedly agree. The article needs reworking or deleting altogether. It's a long time since my Physical Anthropology days, but I find it hard to believe that a prefix of 'Archaic' for a species is accepted scientific terminology. And that first paragraph doesn't really mean anything - they're generally like this, but generally tending to be a bit like this? Badly needs an expert opinion. Mcewan (talk) 22:00, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Contradiction[edit]

From the part on physical appearance: "The general consensus among scholars is that dark skin evolved as early hominids lost body hair, occurring some 1.2 million years ago, well before the emergence of Homo sapiens. This signifies that, contrary to popular belief, the earliest hominids were in fact not light-skinned[8]." Huh? If dark skin is only 1.2 million years old, the earliest hominids, who lived well earlier, presumably were light-skinned. Orcoteuthis (talk) 19:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Ths is true. The problem is that people keep using "hominid" in the sense of "early human". --dab (𒁳) 05:41, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Definitions[edit]

There is no one definition of Archaic homo sapiens, and the term is in dispute. However the most conventional definition of archaic homo sapiens refers to, Homo sapiens neanderthalis and homo sapiens heidelbergensis, and homo sapiens rhodesiensis but not Homo sapiens sapiens. All the species or subspecies have one thing in common, their brain size is large and about the same size.[1]. Homo sapiens sapiens has a chin, no brow ridges and a prominent forehead. So Cro-Magnon is considered homo sapiens sapiens, not archaic. Also archaic does not refer to pre-behavioral modernity, they are usually referred to as Anatomically modern humans and are distinguished from behaviorally modern humans. Wapondaponda (talk) 20:27, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Let's look at the scope of this article, and then try and find an appropriate title for it. The way I see it, this article bridges the gap between the Homo (genus) and Human articles. Homo (genus) obviously treats a number of species, beginning 3 Mya. Human is about, well, us, and as such not just an article about a taxonomical species but including all sorts of "humanities".

Anatomically modern human also redirects to human, because of course the term includes pre-behavioral-modern times, but it does not exclude behavioral modernity. I.e., behaviorally modern humans are naturally also anatomically modern.

Can we please be clear that while "Homo sapiens" is taxonomically well-defined, the adjectives "archaic" or "modern" have no well-defined taxonomical meaning and are just used as common language adjectives. If you think "archaic" excludes sapiens sapiens, meaning that no mention of Cro Magnon may be made in this article, how about we move this article to early Homo sapiens. "Early" just meaning "significantly in the past wrt H. sapiens history", or "a significant fraction of 200 kya old", so that we can, if we want, make reference to Cro Magnon here. Obviously, not a large part of the human article is going to be about the Middle or Upper Paleolithic, and covering this period is really something that can usefully be delegated to this article.

I wish you would stop clouding the issue with your suggetive nomenclature of Homo sapiens neanderthalis, homo sapiens heidelbergensis, homo sapiens rhodesiensis. These are considered separate species, not subspecies of H. sapiens. They have their own articles. If H. sapiens emerged 200kya, early H. sapiens would logically refer to the early part of these 200ky, say 200-100 kya, or 200-50 kya, not the pre-sapiens period of 500-200 kya as you appear to be claiming. --dab (𒁳) 05:51, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree that wiki articles have not been appropriately named. Anatomically modern humans shouldn't redirect to human. In fact, homo sapiens shouldn't redirect to humans or should have a disambiguation page. The trinomial nomenclature for subspecies is still used, though the current mainstream consensus is that archaics and moderns were separate species. However there are still a number of notable scholars who still contend that Neanderthals interbred with modern humans based on the Neanderthal interaction with Cro-Magnons or the Multiregional hypothesis. They argue that Cro-Magnons were able to interbreed with Neanderthals because they were not separate species but instead subspecies of homo sapiens. Because a number of such scholars still exist, it is still worth mentioning the trinomial nomenclature.
The term archaic homo sapiens is not used as often as it used to be, nonetheless the fact that they had a brain the size of modern humans has been significant enough for categorization. The enlargement of the brain during the emergence of Archaic homo sapiens was a significant event. Brain size wasn't increasing for no reason, there must have been a strong selective pressure. Especially since homo heidelbergensis may have buried the dead 300,000 years ago at Atapuerca. Some scientists trace the origin of language to the emergence of Archaic homo sapiens. Since neanderthals had the same FOXP2 as modern humans, and also a hyoid bone, its not inconceivable that archaics had a language.
As for this article, the sections relating modern humans such as behavioral modernity may be in the wrong place, because archaics predate behavioral modernity by 450kya. If Cro-magnon were given a suit, tie and some dress shoes, he could walk into the street of any major city in the world and nobody would notice. So they would not be considered as archaic. The only major differences between Cro-Magnon and contemporary humans is due to culture. The alternative would be to create a separate article for anatomically modern humans. This article can discuss the transition from simply being anatomically modern to being behaviorally modern. Wapondaponda (talk) 09:18, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I appreciate your expertise, but I am still not convinced by your implication that "archaics" can be used as a noun meaningfully. In my understanding, the "archaic" in "archaic H. sapiens" is simply an adjective, to be understood compositionally, i.e. "H. sapiens that can be said to be 'archaic' in some respect."

Also, can we stop using "hominids" in these articles? Hominids in taxonomical contexts are simply the great apes. Of course "archaic Homo sapiens" qualify as hominids, but then they also qualify as vertebrates, and it would be patently absurd to explain the term by saying "Archaic H. sapiens is a loosely defined term used to describe a number of vertebrates". While the "sapiens" may be subject to debate, the Homo certainly is not. Hence, "Archaic H. sapiens is a loosely defined term used to describe a number of varieties of Homo that appear from about 500 kya." --dab (𒁳) 11:47, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

One can use the term "archaic" like an adjective but the full term has apparently been used to describe early "hominids" that had brain sizes similar to contemporary humans. That seems to be the only criteria that links this diverse group. Wapondaponda (talk) 07:34, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

THIS IS COOL like ice bam —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.204.62.223 (talk) 22:17, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Homo sapiens archeus (Ancient wise human)?[edit]

I was under the impression that there was a variety within Homo sapiens called Homo sapiens archeus, which, unlike the separate species within the Genus Homo that are mentioned in this Article, is undisputedly part of H. sapiens. It was included in an early version of the Related Articles Template of the Article on the Genus Homo. That is all I can say for sure. Accounting for that variety, the Species H. sapiens would have diverged from Homo rhodesiensis in 600,000 BC, not much later in 200,000 BC as is popular belief. So, I assume that whoever wrote that Article and linked to through that Template had a reliable source, so should it not still be there, and, more relevantly, mentioned in this Article? The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 00:24, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

The 400,000 yrs old homo sapiens Tel Aviv discovery is not solid.[edit]

"Anatomically modern humans appear from about 400,000 years ago[3]"

It's contested, and actually the original paper itself is not affirming it at all (http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101231/full/news.2010.700.html):

"According to the paper, the teeth cannot be conclusively identified as belonging to a particular species of human, whether Homo sapiens — the first modern humans — Neanderthals, or other humans. But the press release and some of the articles that drew on it state that the teeth are evidence that Homo sapiens lived in the Levant as early as 400,000 years ago."

A famous scientist says it's actually neanderthaloid :

http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2011/01/atapuerca-director-tel-aviv-teeth-are.html . comment added by wadu 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. That 400,000 threw me way oof and took me on a wild goose-chase — Preceding unsigned comment added by Solinoberlin (talkcontribs) 00:35, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

This doesn't make sense. Can we check references please?

Archaic Homo sapiens is a loosely defined term used to describe a number of varieties of Homo, as opposed to anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens), in the period beginning 500,000 years ago. The term is typically taken to include Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo neanderthalensis and sometimes Homo antecessor.[1]

This article is supposed to be about archaic examples of H.sapiens, not some other species. It's logically inconsistant! This cannot be what Dawkins meant. He must have been transitioning in the text of this book between archaic H.sapiens into the species that preceded sapiens. Because by definition, other species such as heidelbergensis are NOT some other species, not, rhodesiensis or sapiens or neanderthalensis. Archaic Homo sapiens can't be some other species, or else they wouldn't be Homo sapiens. All Homo sapiens must be Homo sapiens whether they are archaic or not. just because you are an archaic something doesn't mean you're not that something. How can an archaic version of a species be another species? One species can be an ancestor of another, but it can't be another. I realize that there is a lot of gray area in taxonomy because it's really pretty smooth transitions and there are always neither here nor there cases of everything. Or rather, there must have been if there isn't now. Taxonomy has to put things in boxes, and as the article cladistics teaches the branching tree doesn't consist of boxes but there is a definition of Homo sapiens that excludes heidelbergensis and such and is contrasted with them. So please, if you have this book, please before we say that the definition of a species can include other species of the same genus, let's someone who has this book check and see if the much more logical answer, that he was just transitioning from early H.s to other species that preceded H.sapiens but are generally defined as not H.sapiens but some other species. Chrisrus (talk) 04:26, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Didn't you mean to write the following, rather?
Because by definition, other species such as heidelbergensis are some OTHER species, not rhodesiensis or sapiens or neanderthalensis. Archaic Homo sapiens can't be some other species, or else they wouldn't be Homo sapiens.
Then I completely agree. Especially since Dawkins is neutral about the issue whether H. neanderthalensis etc. are subspecies of H. sapiens, or separate species (as is now more commonly thought, witness Homo heidelbergensis etc.). Hence, we too should use a neutral title such as Archaic Homo or Archaic human, which is consistent with our classification of these taxons, and also titles such as Archaic human admixture with modern Homo sapiens. I have brought the problem up at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Anthropology#Archaic Homo sapiens. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:58, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Support rename to 'Archaic human', otherwise the article is contradictory and confusing (and seems to be endorsing a taxonomy that that has fallen out of favor). Kaldari (talk) 07:31, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Dunbar's argument[edit]

Dunbar's argument that a species must have had used language to have cohesion and not disintegrate sounds disingenuous. Clearly there are myriads of species that do not have a language and live in large groups: arctic penguins for example. --JBrown23 (talk) 20:05, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Archaic humans[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Archaic humans's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "NG":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 06:57, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference dawkins was invoked but never defined (see the help page).