Site: Florisbad Species: H. heidelbergensis (tentatively classified; some argue that it is it’s own species, ‘h. helmei’) Year of Discovery: 1932  Discovered by: Thomas F. Dreyer  Geological Age: About 259,000 years old 
200,000 – 100,000 years old  Cultural Attribution: Developmental Age: Presumed Sex:
Preserved Skeletal Party: Cranium  Preservation: Partial  Preservation Details: The skull consists of frontal and parietal pieces and an incomplete left side of the face (Conroy, 1997). Anatomical Description: The Florisbad Skull belonged to a specimen within the size range of modern humans, with a brain volume larger than modern averages, at 1,400 cm3.  Additional Notes:
Source: Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory: Second Edition
Open-air site near Bloemfontein (South Africa), where in 1932 a partial hominin skull was discovered in sandy sediments around an ancient spring within, or intrusive into, Peat Level 1. Direct dates for the fossil indicate an antiquity of 260 +- 35 Ka. Associated artifacts consisted of nondiagnostic cores and flakes, together with a preserved wooden tool that resembles the handles of curved throwing sticks used by Australian Aboriginal hunters.
The human fossil consists of a frontal bone and facial fragments, which have recently been reconstructed. The broad frontal bone is accompanied by a broad face and palate. The cranial bone is thick, the frontal moderately low, and supraorbital development is strong by modern standards. Less robust than the Kabwe fossil, Florisbad provides a morphological link between the archaic humans found with the Acheulean (e.g. Saldanha) and more modern-looking fossils from the later Middle Stone Age (MSA) (e.g., Klasies River Mouth).
An in situ MSA butchery floor in a younger horizon (at the top of Peat 2) is now dated to ca. 120 Ka. It contained conjoinable flakes and flake-blades on discoidal and Levallois-type cores, comparable to the Pietersburg industry.
Source: Afrika II: Südafrika: Human biological history of southern Africa (1989)
For the Florisbad hominid, C-14 dates from the 1950s had already suggested an age greater than 35,000 years (Barendson et al. 1957), whereby the reliability of the date has been called into question because a spring has its source at the site (E.g. Clark 1959). Florisbad is often placed close to the Rhodesoids because of morphological similarities and not just because of its age. While middle to upper Middle Pleistocene dates can now be assumed for the Rhodesoids (Butzer 1979, Partridge 1982, Tobias 1982, VRBA 1982), new studies also indicate that the Florisbad hominid possesses an age considerably higher than 35,000 years. The cranial remains are probably coeval to Peat 1 and are certainly older than the above-lying Peat 2. New C-14 dates based upon fresh samples from Peat 1 have yielded an age > 42,600 years B.P. (Pta-1108)(Rightmire 1978). The cultural remains found in association with the hominid have been attributed to the “Pietersburg Complex” (Sampson 1974) and suggest a great age. Beaumont (1979) and Butzer (1979) even consider a late Middle Pleistocene age for Peat 1 to be quite possible (cf. also Partridge 1982), a conjecture which appears to be supported by the partially extinct fauna (Dreyer 1935). The results presently available from the new excavations carried out by R. Clarke at Florisbad also point towards a greater age (Partridge 1982, Clarke 1985). Taken as a whole, the present state of discussion indicates that the most likely assignment of this hominid is to the late Middle or early Upper Pleistocene (ca. 200,000 – 100,000 years B.P.)