The Hs-sapiens and Hs-neanderthal split keeps getting pushed back. It now appears to have been 750.000+ years ago or more. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...-human-species-emerged-700-000-years-ago.html Another article from teeth studies show the same age for pre-denisovan/neanderthal split from sapiens. I'll post it when I copy it from the recent Discover magazine in which the article is printed. Since Hs-sapiens and Hs-neanderthal could successfully interbreed (and boy did they when they got back together!), they (we) are the same species. I would imagine the first humans (people that look like us) arose twice as far back, i.e. about 1.5 million years ago, forming numerous races, most of which races died out, or were assimilated as the neanderthals and denisovans were assimilated. Their footprints show up as well. http://www.everythingselectric.com/happisburgh-footprints/ What is interesting is that we have very little evidence for those billions of people that once lived hundreds of thousands of years ago. During the past million years that they were spreading over the globe, the oceans rose and fell several hundred meters, a half-dozen times or more. Any settlements that were near the moderating influence and good-food of the oceans would have been ground to sand as the ocean rose and the waves pounded, only to recede again at the height of another ice-age. It is only for the last few thousand years that we have evidence of those more recent civilizations, though there are hints of other civilizations that preceded the last ice-age.