The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Heidelberg Man
|←Heidelberg Catechism||The Encyclopedia Americana
|Edition of 1920. See also Homo heidelbergensis on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer. There is no article on "Piltdown" anything, although a short description appears in the article on "Stone Age," under "Eolithic Relics."|
HEIDELBERG MAN. The most primitive human being known, represented by a jaw found in 1907 by O. Schœtensack at the base of the sands of Mauer near Heidelberg, Germany. The situation of this relic indicates by the association with it in the same deposit of appropriate animal bones, the second interglacial interval — a long, warm period estimated by Penck to have closed about 200,000 years ago. This jaw is extremely massive, lacks that frontal protrusion that gives shape to the human chin, and were it not for the unmistakably human teeth, which are excellently preserved, might be taken for that of an anthropoid ape. The teeth are essentially human and show no trace of being intermediate between the dentition of the anthropoid apes and man, although not very large and strong. The canines do not project beyond the line of the other teeth, even as much as in the Piltdown skull (q.v.). Seen from above the teeth form a perfect arch, whereas in anthropoid apes the grinding teeth lie in rows parallel to each other. The conclusion is that this jaw represents a race ancestral to the Neanderthal men of Spy. Krapina, etc, — men more primitive, powerful and apelike than they. “All agree,” says Osborn, “that Schœtensack's discovery affords us one of the missing links or types in the chain of human development.” (See Stone Age). Consult Osborn, H. F., “Men of the Old Stone Age” (New York 1914).