South Asian history bores me. Chinese history has also always bored me for some reason.
The reason for that is that every single palaeoanthropologist wants to be remembered as the one that found the "missing link", so they all call the fossils they find a new species. A palaeontologist i know once taught me that it's a lot simpler to divide direct human ancestors to three groups: Australopithecines, Erectus and species near it, and Sapiens, and species near it.
Yeah, Richard Dawkins had a short rant about how daft these people are being. Basically, he points out that if the fossil record was absolutley perfect, one could line them up and be unable to tell each from its ancestor or decendant yet everyone would still try to put the mother in one species and the daughter in another.
The overdone splitting is particularly bad among the Australopithecines. IMO the Australopithecine and human species are:Australopithecus anamensis
The most basal Australopithecine.Australopithecus afarensis
(Lucy, et. al.)
ancestral to the Robust Australopithecines. includes the spurious A. aetheopicus
Ancestral to Homo
. Most of the spurious Australopithecus
species belong here.Paranthropus robustus
The "Robust" Australopithecines.Homo habilis
Basically A. africanus
with a slightly bigger brain.Homo rudolfensis
Known only from a skull and a few leg bones, but seems to have been a larger body size like a modern humans, H. Habilis
was smaller like the Australopithecines.Homo erectus
Includes the spurious species H. ergaster
, H. antecessor
, and H. florensis
. Was fully human below the neck.Homo heidebergensis.
The common ancestor of Neanderthals and Modern Humans. Some populations may have survived in West Africa as late as 17,000 years ago.Homo neanderthalensis
The Neanderthals and the newly discovered "Desinovans".Homo sapiens
Ourselves, of course. Though all non-Africans have some H. neanderthalensis