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At 516,000 years ago, Homo antecessor is the common genetic ancestor of humans and Neanderthal. At present estimate, humans have approximately 20,000–25,000 genes and share 99% of their DNA with the now extinct Neanderthal and 95-99% of their DNA with their closest living evolutionary relative, the chimpanzees. The human variant of the FOXP2 gene (linked to the control of speech) has been found to be identical in Neanderthal. It can therefore be deduced that Homo antecessor would also have had the human FOXP2 gene.

An analysis of stone points from a site in South Africa called Kathu Pan 1 indicates that they were attached to shafts of wood and used as spears. The finding pushes the earliest appearance of hafted multicomponent tools back by some 200,000 years.

Previous discoveries had hinted at the potential antiquity of this technology. Based on evidence that both early modern humans and our closest relatives, the Neandertals, made stone-tipped spears, some researchers hypothesized that their common ancestor—a species called Homo heidelbergensis shared this know-how. At half a million years old, the newfound stone points are old enough to be the handiwork of this common ancestor.



Homo erectus was believed to be a wandering hunter, and began traveling far beyond African origins. Evidence of Homo erectus was found in China and is known as "Peking man". Homo erectus was believed to have lived in this area from 600,000 BCE to 200,000 BCE.



Home erectus "Heidelberg man" and is thought to have lived in this region from 800,000 BCE to 400,000 BCE. It is thought that Homo heidelbergensis may have developed spear technology about 500,000 years ago.

The skull of the oldest woolly rhinoceros in Europe shows that these giant creatures -- with two impressively large horns on the bridge of their noses -- once roamed across central Germany. The large shaggy mammals grazed at the foot of the Kyffhäuser range, whose unforested, rocky slopes loomed out of the broad, bleak plains of northern Thuringia 460,000 years ago. The climate at this time was icy cold and far drier than today.


Isolated remains of Homo erectus in Hathnora in the Narmada Valley in central India indicate that India might have been inhabited since at least the Middle Pleistocene era, somewhere between 500,000 and 200,000 years ago.

§South Pacific


A collection of shells from the Trinil site in Java, a treasure trove of Homo erectus skeletal remains and artefacts, revealed that Homo Erectus created the earliest known geometric carving 500,000 years ago.

One shell was fashioned into a tool with a smooth and polished edge, probably used as a knife or scraper. Another has the zigzag pattern, most likely produced by scratching the shell's surface with a shark's tooth, that the scientists say represents the earliest geometric engraving known to exist.


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