Homo sapiens sapiens: The Symbol User
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Skull size, tools, and distinctive features

The 130,000 year-old reconstructed skull shown below at left represents the earliest known example of a modern human being, Homo sapiens sapiens. It was found at Omo in East Africa; skull size and shape are completely modern. Shown beside the skull are some characteristic tools of Homo sapiens sapiens, all from East or South Africa: a bola for throwing at small game, flake tools, and a long flake blade and the core from which such blades have been struck.


Above center is a skull of "Cro-Magnon man" from Les Eysie, France, approximately 28,000 years old (Homo sapiens sapiens moved into Europe around 35,000 years ago at the latest). The distinctive features of our species can be seen in the skull at far right, also an example of Cro-Magnon man, constrasted with a typical Neanderthal skull to its immediate left. The H. sapiens sapiens skull is smaller and more compact and the face is much less elongated than the Neanderthal; the modern human skull has a higher forehead, less prominent brow-ridges and smaller teeth. Modern humans are typically much less robust in body form and skeleton than Neanderthals.

Modern human females are only slightly smaller on average than males, but sexual dimorphism appears in many subtle ways.


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