Homo heidelbergensis model - male - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - 2012-05-17
Life-size bronze model of Homo heidelbergensis -- a human ancestor -- on display in the Hall of Human Origins in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct human ancestor that lived between 600,000 and 400,000 years ago. Its immediate descendants were Homo neanderthalensis and us -- Homo sapiens. Homo heidelbergensis was discovered in the small German town of Mauer on October 21, 1907. The jaw was given to a professor at the University of Heidelberg (hence the name).
Homo heidelbergensis was tall (at least six feet, and often taller), with heavy and strong bones, and an exceptionally muscular body. Their brains were at least as large as Homo sapiens, and they had a rudimentary language. They created and used extensive stone tools and spears, painted with red ochre, and buried their dead.