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Geological Antiquity of Rhodesian Man

Nature volume 244, pages 311312 (03 August 1973) | Download Citation

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Abstract

CARLETON COON, in his book The Origin of Races1, argued that the “Caucasoid” (White) race, as represented by the well-known Swanscombe and Steinheim skulls, had crossed the threshold from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens in the Middle Pleistocene, at least by 250,000 yr ago, whereas the “Congoid” (Negro) race, as represented by the massive-browed and low-vaulted Broken Hill and Saldanha skulls, had remained at the Homo erectus level until well within the Upper Pleistocene, perhaps as recently as 30–40,000 yr ago. It has been pointed out that there are grounds for questioning the assignment of the Broken Hill and Saldanha specimens (lumped here and elsewhere as Rhodesian man) to Homo erectus2 and few authors would agree that they can be assigned to any modern race, but most have accepted their Upper Pleistocene date. In this note I point out recent evidence that these specimens are in fact far older.

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  1. Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637

    • RICHARD G. KLEIN

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https://doi.org/10.1038/244311c0

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