Human Evolution: Radiations in the Last 300 000 Years

Abstract

Homo sapiens and Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) evolved from Homo heidelbergensis in the last 300 000 years. H. sapiens subsequently spread throughout the world; all other hominins disappeared. The Out of Africa and multiregional models offer different explanations for this pattern.

Keywords: Homo sapiens; Neanderthals; Homo erectus; out of Africa model; multiregional evolution

Figure 1.

(a) Distribution of H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and early H. sapiens sites. (b) Chronology of the origin of modern humans and Neanderthals plotted against the oxygen isotope curve, which shows the major climatic oscillations during the period. (c) Comparative cranial morphology of H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens.

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Klein RG (1999) The Human Career, 2nd edn. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lahr MM (1996) The Evolution of Modern Human Diversity: A Study of Cranial Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mellars P (1996) The Neanderthal Legacy: An Archaeological Perspective from Western Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Mellars P and Stringer C (eds) (1989) The Human Revolution: Behavioural and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Santa Luca AP (1980) The Ngandong fossil hominids: a comparative study of a Far Eastern Homo erectus group. Yale University Publications in Anthropology 78: 1–175.

Smith FH, Falsetti AB and Donnelly SM (1989) Modern human origins. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 32: 35–68.

Smith FH and Spencer F (eds) (1984) The Origins of Modern Humans: A World Survey of the Fossil Evidence. New York: Alan R Liss.

Stringer C and Gamble C (1993) In Search of the Neanderthals. New York: Thames and Hudson.

Trinkaus E and Shipman P (1993) The Neandertals. New York: Alfred A Knopf.

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How to Cite close
Pearson, Osbjorn M(Apr 2008) Human Evolution: Radiations in the Last 300 000 Years. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001649.pub2]