Saldanha man

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Saldanha man
Saldanha man-Homo heidelbergensis.jpg
Saldanha skull, Smithsonian Natural History Museum
Common nameSaldanha man
SpeciesHomo heidelbergensis
Place discoveredHopefield, Saldanha Bay Local Municipality, South Africa
Date discovered8 January 1953
Discovered byKeith Jolly and Ronald Singer

Saldanha man also known as Saldanha cranium or Elandsfontein cranium are fossilized remains of an archaic human. It is one of the key specimens for Homo heidelbergensis. It has not been dated directly, and is estimated to be roughly 0.5 million years old.[1] The remains, which included a fragment of lower jaw, were found on an exposed surface between shifting sand dunes on the farm Elandsfontein, which is located near Hopefield, South Africa.

It was found associated with a variety of fossil vertebrates, and initially classified as Homo saldanensis (Drennan 1955). Singer (1954) noted close resemblance to Kabwe 1 at Broken Hill (Zambia) and LH 18 at Laetoli (Tanzania).[2][a] Comparison with Kabwe 1 specifically, and thus classification as African H. heidelbergensis (H. rhodesiensis) was also regularly supported by later authors.[1]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ also called the Broken Hill skull; Rhodesian Man is a Middle Paleolithic fossil assigned by Arthur Smith Woodward in 1921 as the type specimen for Homo rhodesiensis, now mostly considered a synonym of Homo heidelbergensis. The cranium was discovered in the lead and zinc mine of Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe, Zambia).


  1. ^ a b Schwartz & Tattersall 2005, pp. 248–255.
  2. ^ Singer 1954, pp. 345–356.


  • Schwartz, Jeffrey H.; Tattersall, Ian (2005). The Human Fossil Record, Craniodental Morphology of Genus Homo (Africa and Asia). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780471326441.
  • Singer, Ronald (1954). "The saldanha skull from Hopefield, South Africa" (PDF). American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 12 (3): 345–62. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330120309. PMID 13207329.
  • Straus, W. L. (17 May 1957). "Saldanha Man and His Culture". Science. 125 (3255): 973–974. Bibcode:1957Sci...125..973S. doi:10.1126/science.125.3255.973. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17778553.
  • Tappen, NC (1979). "Studies on the condition and structure of bone of the Saldanha fossil cranium". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 50 (4): 591–603. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330500410. PMID 111559. Archived from the original on 2011-08-13.

Coordinates: 33°05′30″S 18°14′20″E / 33.09167°S 18.23889°E / -33.09167; 18.23889