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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Appearance and Evolution of Man

The study of humanity fascinates humans. The main question we ask is this: why are humans so different from their closest relatives?

In this paper the hominid species of the last 5 millennia are treated. Also, their hominid adaptations are described giving primacy to bipedal walking which predates the expansion of the brain. What characters make Australopithecines, which are considered a stable evolutionary package? A pattern, that does not exist today, but is intermediate between apes and humans. The problem of assigning fossils to Homo habilis is debated today in the Anthropological circles. Are they one highly dimorphic species, or two different species, one Homo habiiis and the other still unnamed? What follows them is a stable and long lasting species, Homo erectus, that was to become the first human type to spread from Africa to Asia. Homo erectus was either followed or overlaped in time by the “archaic” Homo sapiens, a variable species whose better known representatives are the Neanderthals. These late Neanderthals were highly evolved humans but probably not our direct ancestors. The disappearance of Neanderthals from Europe and W. Asia (Levant), may have had to do with the appearance of the anatomically modern Homo sapiens, a species far superior behaviourally.