When it comes to South Asia the emergence of modern Homo sapiens is hotly contested due to gaps in the fossil record. One controversial fossil find from this region is a partial cranium from Hathnora in India. This solitary cranium has been dated at about 250 kyr and the debate centers around just exactly what are we looking at here. Some researchers believe this skull is from an evolved H. erectus while other believe it is from an archaic H. sapien or H. heidelbergensis.
Some researchers believe that this cranium along with other fossil remains known as the “Narmada fossils” support the presence of three hominins in the region long ago specifically one early modern and two archaic. In one find a femur and calvarium (skullcap) was found and these are believed to be from a large bodied species possibly similar to H. heidelbergensis or even a South Asian variation (hybrid) of H. heidelbergensis. Acheulian tools were also found with this specimen.
In another find in the central Narmada Valley (India) a small
bodied archaic type was found. This find was composed of two clavicles and the 9th rib. This find was labelled as Homo narmadensis (Narmada Man). Researchers in India believe this species evolved anatomically and behaviorally in South Asia and ended up with modern traits. The evidence for this evolution consists of the humerus and bone artifacts associated with this find and it is believed this species evolved into the short bodied indigenous people of South Asia we see today. This assertion is supported by genetic evidence as well.
All of this that I have just cited comes from a study published in 2013 by Anek R. Sankhyan in India.
Narmada Man, H. narmadensis is also known as Homo erectus narmadensis by those who believe the specimen is a variant of H. erectus. Research was carried out by two joint teams from India, the US, and France. One things that these studies found was that the calvaria (skullcap) does indeed share some features normally associated with Asian H. erectus, however, it also has characteristics of H. sapiens (modern humans) from Asia, Europe, and Africa. Yet, it also possesses some features all its own! In my mind this suggests Narmada Man was some type of transitional species or HYBRID resulting from interbreeding of H. erectus and archaic modern humans!