Jul 26, 2013

Homo Sapiens

Homo sapiens is Latin for 'wise man'. It is the scientific name for the human species. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and many other extinct species of hominid. H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens.

German anthropologist Friedrich Blumenbach divided Homo sapiens into five distinct races based on their physical characteristics. There was the Mongolian, or yellow race, the red American race, the brown Malayan race, the black Ethiopian race, and the white Caucasian race.

He looked at many physical traits to carve out his categories and thought characteristics of the skull, the size and angle of the forehead, jawbone, teeth, eye sockets, etc. were especially important.

He thought that the skulls of Georgians were exemplary of the characteristics of his white race and named the group (Caucasian) after the Caucasus Mountain Range that runs along Georgia’s northern border.