In taxonomy, Homo sapiens is the only extant human species. The name is Latin for "wiseman" and was introduced in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus (who is himself also the type specimen).
Extinct species of the genus Homo include Homo erectus, extant during roughly 1.9 to 0.4 million years ago, and a number of other species (by some authors considered subspecies of either H. sapiens or H. erectus). H. sapiens idaltu (2003) is a proposed extinct subspecies of H. sapiens.
The age of speciation of H. sapiens out of ancestral H. erectus (or an intermediate species such as Homo antecessor) is estimated to have been roughly 315,000 years ago. Sustained archaic admixture is known to have taken place both in Africa and (following the recent Out-Of-Africa expansion) in Eurasia, between about 100,000 and 30,000 years ago.
The term anatomically modern humans (AMH) is used to distinguish H. sapiens having an anatomy consistent with the range of phenotypes seen in contemporary humans from varieties of extinct archaic humans. This is useful especially for times and regions where anatomically modern and archaic humans co-existed, for example, in Paleolithic Europe.
hand tool from Boxgrove, site of H. heidelbergensis, precursor to H. sapiens
Fossilized bones, in situ, archaeological site of the Lower Paleolithic Era
Stone tools from the Lower Paleolithic Era
Stone tool, Middle Paleolithic Era
Upper Paleolithic Era stone tools
Venus of Willendorf, early human art from the Upper Paleolithic
Cave painting of extinct species, Lascaux, from the Upper Paleolithic Era
Oil lamp from Lascaux cave site upper paleolithic, 17,000 ya
Spear thrower in form of a Mammoth (extinct species), Upper Paleolithic Era
Magdalenian Girl, Upper Paleolothic/Mesolithic era
stone tools from the Neolithic Era
Neolithic representational art
Neolithic stone shelter
Grave, from Old Neolithic Era
Inuit use of meteoritic Iron, by cold forging (hammering and stamping, no heat), prior to the Iron, Bronze or Copper Ages
pottery from 7,000 to 6,500 ya, late Neolithic/Early Chalcolithic (Copper Age)
reconstruction of Ötzi, preserved in ice, from the Chalcolithic Era
Copper Axe of Ötzi, Chalcolithic Era
Iron Age Celtic coinage
Iron Age weaponry
Broiler chicken, proposed by scientists in 2018 as the symbol for the Anthropocene Era, the current era when human modification of the environment has changed the planet. The chicken is the most populous bird on Earth, thanks to their breeding for food by humans.