Talk:Homo ergaster

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I've left the sentence "Homo ergaster developed the more sophisticated hand-axe." in the article, but it's not clear--more sophisticated than what? Vicki Rosenzweig

Should we retranslate "ergaster" as just "worker"? "Workman man" sounds redundant.

larger brain?[edit]

Didn't homo erectus have a larger brain? This site, for example( says that H. erectus has a larger brain, while others give a range from ~850-1200cc, larger than 800cc in any case.

Hair/No-Hair, Skin, Sweat?[edit]

While I feel it's important to use our imaginations when trying to interpret what we've found, it seems to be a habit lately to take logical supposition and begin giving it as known fact. For instance, it's reasonable to wonder why Ergaster was so radically different from Habilis and Rudolphensis, the only two previous specimens known. It's not so reasonable to clearly state that some of the greatest differences were that Ergaster was hairless and dark-skinned, whereas Habilis was not. We have no evidence regarding this, and only have our own logic based on fossil finds and what we believe about the environment of the time.

Just as we once assumed that bipedalism only arose with Australopithecenes (and find that it existed quite further back, even if not as a standard means of locomotion), it's folly to assume that hairlessness was either a short process or one that occurred at the most convenient time. It's a valid argument that a lack of hair goes much further back in our line, just as it's easy to believe that loss of a noticable hair coat arose with more modern African populations.

Moreover, considering the wide variations in hairyness among modern populations (from the smooth and hairless to men who have built-in sweaters), it is doubtful that a wide-ranging population in varying environments could be defined under anything but an average hair covering.

It's nitpicking, but it's bad science to not seperate hypothetical reasoning and strongly derrived theory.

I agree. The recent edits made to several homin articles includes an excessive amout of repetitiveness and unscientific ponderings to warrant inclusion as is. I'm reverting this one as well. - UtherSRG (talk) 19:47, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Telanthropus capensis merge[edit]

Someone proposed that we merge Telanthropus capensis here. I think this is a bad idea and will clean up the other article a bit and delete the merge tag unless I hear objection. Any objection? --Selket Talk 20:21, 28 February 2007 (UTC)


H. ergaster may be distinguished from H. erectus by its ... lack of an obvious sulcus.

this needs to be more specific. there are many types of sulci:

  • in the brain
  • sulcus arteriæ vertebralis
  • sagittal sulcus
  • sigmoid sulcus
  • tympanic sulcus
  • lacrimal sulcus (sulcus lacrimalis)
  • sulcus tubae auditivae
  • radial sulcus (musculospiral groove)
  • preauricular sulcus
  • malleolar sulcus
  • Calcaneal sulcus
  • Intermammary sulcus
  • interlabial sulci
  • Anterior interventricular sulcus
  • Posterior interventricular sulcus

Attys 22:00, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

authority vs researcher[edit]

"Authority" is more accurate than "researcher". There are many folks that do research. Some of them publish, others work for those that publish. The ones that publish are authorities; they have "authored" the description or theory or hypothesis, etc. In fact, "authority" is used explicitly in taxonomy. - UtherSRG (talk) 15:31, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Expansion and Inclusion[edit]

I have begun an attempt to make the pages on Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo habilis, and Homo georgicus resemble each other in format and content more closely. I shall try to present each competing interpretation, but have often settled, half-way through the page, on presenting each species as legitimately distinct (while letting readers know, of course). My main concern is that these six pages present many prevalent and valid interpretations, but no conformity of tone or content between pages (or sometimes even paragraphs). I shall also try to make conglomerate authorship less detectable between pages, personally editing large chunks using my own tone. I shall attempt, however, to let no personal interpretations of our ancestry interfere with the hypotheses presented. I will not eradicate any additions to these pages' content, obviously, but will attempt to make their voice and presentation uniform. Homo Ergaster (talk) 00:23, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


I accidentally revised the page without including anything about H. ergaster's linguistic capacities: I shall right this as soon as I am able. Homo Ergaster (talk) 13:02, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Dunno why all these sections in articles on human ancestors focus on 'symbolic' communication. It is well established now in studies of modern languages that symbolic constructions evolve from much more iconic ones. Wouldn't that imply that early Homo might utilize a far more iconic system overall? Even today there are many language families (for example Ubangian, in central Africa) where iconically organized vocabulary (ideophones) outweighs forms dominated by form/meaning arbitrariness (symbolicity). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Unclear intro[edit]

I don't understand this sentence in the intro:

There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H. ergaster, but it is now widely thought (though not agreed) to be the direct ancestor of later hominids such as Homo heidelbergensis, Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis rather than Asian erectus.

Is this a correct interpretation?:

A  There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H. ergaster, but it, rather than Asian erectus, is now widely thought (though not agreed) to be the direct ancestor of later hominids such as Homo heidelbergensis, Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis rather than Asian erectus.

Or is this?:

B  There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H. ergaster, but it is now widely thought (though not agreed) to be the direct ancestor of later hominids such as Homo heidelbergensis, Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis rather than of Asian erectus.

 Michael Z. 2010-03-03 18:57 z

A is definitely incorrect, B may or may not be correct. I am not sure there is much of a consensus. Some camps lump ergaster as a type of erectus. I don't a have a source handy or I would take a stab at a rewrite that may remove the reference to the Asian erectus line altogether. Nowimnthing (talk) 19:48, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

the writing in this article is astoundingly bad in general. I am tagging it for cleanup. --dab (𒁳) 10:57, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

1.6 mya to .6 mya (600,000 ka)[edit]

New evidence seems to suggest that Homo ergaster fossils have been found as recently as 600,000 years ago. My textbook How Humans Evolved (5th edition) by Boyd and Silk, 2009 is more recent than the previous 2007 source of ergaster being from 1.6-1.3 mya. The page in my textbook is on page 307.

"Homo ergaster appears in the African fossils about 1.8 mya and disappears about 0.6 mya" Galith2 (talk) 18:49, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Ancestor of Homo erectus[edit]

I read in Becoming Human by Ian Tattersaul that Homo ergaster was the ancestor of Homo erectus which was subsequently the ancestor of both Homo heidelbergensis (which in turn was ancestor of Homo neanderthalensis) and Homo rhodesiensis (which in turn was the ancestor of the now solely surviving Homo sapiens).

By the way, this makes sense based on the dates of speciation and extinction for Homo ergaster and Homo erectus already mentioned in the respective Articles. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 05:35, 6 January 2011 (UTC)


   "Atlanthropus" is a Rdr to the accompanying article, and Homo atlanthropus is mentioned twice on User talk:KamranRaju. Carleton S. Coon mentions Atlanthropus mauretancius on at least p. 10, 591 (table & footnote) and the genus alone on at least p. 10-11, 591 (footnote). There are no references within the text of the article. Britannica has

"Facts about Atlanthropus mauritanicus: Ternifine, as discussed in Ternifine (anthropological and archaeological site, Algeria): ...with the remains of other archaic humans, and resemblances to Peking man were observed. Initially the Ternifine group was considered sufficiently different to justify a new genus and species (Atlanthropus mauritanicus). However, later it was recognized that the fossils from Algeria and China, along with similar specimens from Java, could all be classified together in one species,..."

If it's applied only to the one specimen, we need at least to identify which one, rather than the whole species, somewhere in the article.
--Jerzyt 03:09, 11 July 2011 (UTC)


The current (24.12.2011) version of the article date Ergaster "about 2.5–1.7 million years ago.[1]", the reference being "Hazarika, Manji (16–30 June 2007). "Homo erectus/ergaster and Out of Africa: Recent Developments in Paleoanthropology and Prehistoric Archaeology"."

The article (as available at, makes no such claim whatsoever, but instead: "H. ergaster existed between 1.8 million and 1.3 million years ago", om the second page (numbered 36).

The current figures were added anonymously in what appears to be vandalism (the first edit changed Africa with France, but was reverted 30 minutes later), here is the history page for reference:

I am reverting to the timeframe as per the reference merryXIV (talk) 17:34, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Timeframe redux[edit]

ANON.78 (re current page 12August 2015): why did you change the date range? The source (Hazarika, 2007) reports "1.8 mya", but you edit the page to a different value. Do you have a different source? Pls reply.Jbeans (talk) 08:56, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

The same editor made a similar change on the Homo erectus article. Perhaps that should also be reverted. TimidGuy (talk) 10:37, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Article Inconsistent with Itself[edit]

From the lead – “[Ergaster] is one of the earliest members of the genus Homo, possibly descended from, or sharing a common ancestor with, Homo erectus.“ This would make Erectus the older species (Ergaster..descended from...erectus)

From the Classification and Special Distinction section – “Some call H. ergaster the direct African ancestor of H. erectus, proposing that H. ergaster emigrated out of Africa and into Asia, branching into a distinct species.[5]” This would make Ergaster the older species (ergaster ancestor of erectus)

One or the other must be wrong; from the chart over at Homo it seems Ergaster is the older species, can anyone out there help out here to clean this up? See also the "Unclear Intro" and "Timeframes" sections on this Talk page Skates61 (talk) 05:05, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Discovery and representative fossils[edit]

Hi! there should be some clarification in this section. I see what i can find first dicovery 1971 in Koobi Fora Since its discovery in 1972
Wikirictor (talk) 02:22, 30 October 2015 (UTC) From Koobi Fora, East Turkana: KNM-ER 3733, a cranium discovered in 1975 by Bernard Ngeneo,
Wikirictor (talk) 02:27, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

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