By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Homo heidelbergensis

Homo heidelbergensis

From Year 0 (BCE/CE): -640000
Post Date: 04/14/2024
25,600 Generations Ago

NSLCA Candidate: Homo heidelbergensis, an important figure in human evolution, represents a notable advancement over its predecessor, Homo erectus and Homo antecessor. Emerging around 640,000 years ago, they exhibited a larger brain capacity, averaging about 1,100 to 1,400 cubic centimeters, which facilitated more complex thought processes and behaviors. This increase in brain size is correlated with evidence of more sophisticated tool use, particularly the development of the Levallois technique, which allowed the production of diverse and specialized tools. Unlike Homo erectus, who primarily used simple stone flakes, Homo heidelbergensis crafted tools that were pre-planned and could be retouched and reused. Physically, they were more robust than Homo erectus, with a sturdier skeletal structure that supported a larger musculature, likely an adaptation to the colder climates encountered as they spread across Europe. Furthermore, Homo heidelbergensis is credited with the earliest potential evidence of constructed shelters and the systematic use of fire, suggesting a significant leap in technological and social practices, including possibly the earliest forms of communal living and hunting strategies. These traits mark Homo heidelbergensis as a crucial intermediary between earlier hominins and later species such as Neanderthals and modern humans.

  • Brain Size: 1,100 to 1,400 cc (humans=avg=1,350; 1,200 to 1,500 cc)
  • Brain to Body EQ: 4.5 to 5.5 (humans=7.4 to 7.8)
  • Evolved in Africa about 770,000 YA, spread to Europe by 500,000 YA.
  • Spread through Africa, Europe, and Asia. Last known: Africa until about 200,000 YA. 
  Male Female
Avg. Height 5’9″ 5’2″
Avg. Weight 136 lbs 112 lbs
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