Boskop is an almost forgotten group of early humans who lived in southern Africa between 30,000 and 10,000 years ago. Psychiatrist Gary Lynch and cognitive scientist Richard Granger are now saying that this human species was probably smarter than us. Others in the scientific community, those who have had the good fortune of looking at their skull remains are agreeing.
The Boskop Man was first discovered by two African farmers in 1913. They offered it to Frederick William FitzSimons for examination and further research as it looked distinctively different. These people had small, childlike faces and huge melon heads. Many similar skulls were subsequently discovered by paleontologists like Robert Broom, William Pycraft and Raymond Dart.
On further study, it was found that these people had an average intelligence of around 150, making them geniuses among Homo sapiens. The Boskop’s brain size is about 30% larger than our own. They were much like us, apart from their larger heads and eyes, childlike faces and more intelligence.
The Boskops coexisted with our Homo sapiens forebears. Just as we see the ancient Homo erectus as a savage primitive, the Boskop may have viewed us in somewhat the same way.
This is what Gary Lynch and Richard Granger says in their work, “Just as we’re smarter than apes, they were probably smarter than us”. Even the smallest-brained Boskop was probably smarter than us. They were also more insightful and self-reflective than modern humans, with fantastic memories and a penchant for dreaming, the two add.
Further research has also revealed that the Boskop Man’s internal mental life was way beyond anything we can imagine. Lynch and Granger have based their characterization on our current understanding of how the human brain works.
As far as we know, the Boskops were certainly the smartest species on Earth. But what happened to them? Why did they go extinct, while the smaller-brained home sapiens managed to survive? We are not sure.
Perhaps with their perhaps astonishing insights, they may have become a species of dreamers rather than doers. Perhaps there is some other explanation. We certainly need to study them more. It’s a pity that Neanderthals and Homo erectus are widely known, but the Boskops are almost entirely forgotten.