Well, the jury’s still out, but it may be that my slightly condensed history of human evolution, the 800 word essay, “The Complete History of Mankind,” needs a qualifier. Scientists are now reporting that recent discoveries in Israel and China suggest that there were two previously unknown types of early humans living alongside Homo sapiens.
The Israeli fossils belong to an umbrella species that scientists are calling the Nesher Ramla people, who may be the direct ancestors of the Neanderthals. The Chinese find has been preliminarily classified as a new species, dubbed Homo longi, (Dragon Man), and is believed by some to be a closer relative to modern humans than even the Neanderthals. Modern Neanderthals are disappointed, but are managing to look on the bright side by grunting, “Now you won’t have Neanderthal to kick around anymore.”