Vertesszöllös and the Presapiens theory



The Presapiens theory, suggesting completely separate lineages leading to Neandertals and to Homo sapiens, has recently received a number of setbacks. However, the discovery of two hominids at Vertesszöllös could be corroborating evidence. The teeth of the first individual were described as those of Homo erectus, as were most features of the second, represented by an occipital. The two main characteristics used to support the Homo sapiens classification of the second individual are the long lambda-opisthion chord and the high cranial capacity, based on a regression using the lambda-opisthion chord. However, the real position of lambda is obscured by the presence of wormian bones, and the regression used to predict capacity was derived from a sample with more Neandertals than Homo erectus specimens. A comparative treatment of the morphological features and recalculation of the regression suggests that separating the occipital from Homo erectus is not justified. Other evidence indicates Homo erectus specimens as big as Vertesszöllös 2. It is unlikely that two hominid lineages occur in the Mid-Pleistocene.