(Homo heidelbergensis)

  • Middle Stone Age fossil
  • Nickname: Rhodesian Man
  • Site: Kabwe, Zambia (on in a lead and zinc mine, 18 meters below the ground level)

    Year of Discovery:  June 17th, 1921

    Discovered by: Tom Zwiglaar

    Age: Between 324,000 and 274,000 years old

    Original specimen: Natural History Museum, London



First early human fossil ever to be discovered in Africa

> Arthur Smith Woodward assigned the specimen to a new species: Homo rhodesiensis.

> Today, most scientists assign Kabwe to Homo heidelbergensis.

> This skull is one of the oldest known to have tooth cavities.

> They occur in 10 of the upper teeth.

> The individual may have died from an infection related to dental disease or from a chronic ear infection.

Similarity with Homo erectus Low braincase profile (the area towards the back of the skull), large brow ridges, a slight widening of the midface known as the sagittal keel, and a protrusion at the back of the skull named the occipital torus.

Similarity with Homo sapiens
But Kabwe also resembles modern humans with a flatter, less prognathic face, and larger brain (1300 cubic centimeters).