Difference Between Early Man and Modern Man


Main Difference

The main difference between the early man and the modern man is that the early man refers to the hominids who are the predecessors of the present form of the human race and modern man is the subspecies of Homo sapiens.

Early Man vs. Modern Man

Early man is that stage of human evolution which refers to the ancestors of the current figures of the human race. The modern man is the subspecies of Homo sapiens. Early man originated six million years ago. Modern man originated 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. Early man originated from apelike ancestors. Modern man originated from and Denisovan and Neanderthal. The early man was a bipedal, capable of communicating with each other and could use and make tools. The modern man has a large and complex brain, which is culturally diverse and is capable of symbolic expressions (ex: art and music). Early man used four limbs for mobilization, so they moved slowly. Modern man uses two limbs to move, so they move fast. Early man did not have proper language and means of communication. He used a different kind of sounds and gestures to communicate. Modern man has more advanced ways of communication. He uses complex and comprehensive languages to speak. The lifestyle of early man was simple, and they were closer to nature and therefore, sustained natural resources. Modern man has a complex and fancy lifestyle, and they use unnatural things than natural things. Early man was unaware of the concept of covering his body with a piece of cloth; he gradually learned this thing. Modern man is fully aware of the concept of clothing, in fact, stylish clothing and dressing. Early man used to live in caves and open areas. He was a wanderer. Modern man uses to build houses out of cement and bricks and lives in it. He settles his life in a specific residence.


Comparison Chart

Early ManModern Man
Refers to the hominids who are the predecessors of the present human raceRefers to the subspecies of the ‘Homo sapiens’
Six million years ago200,000 to 100,000 years ago
Apelike ancestorsNeanderthal and Denisovan
CavesCement and brick houses
Gathered foodProduces food

What is Early Man?

According to the evolution process, the early man has originated from apelike ancestors. The fossil evidence shows that the first human originated in Africa between six to two million years ago. The human characteristic of walking on two legs originated over four million years ago. The early man moved from Africa to Asia between two and 1.8 million years ago. The evolution of man occurred due to the natural changes that emerged during their adaptation to the environment to survive. Early man was a wanderer, who moved and walked from one place to another aimlessly. He was either a gatherer or hunter, who obtained food from foraging rather than farming. The early man covered his body by tree leaves or animal skin. He used to hunt animals for food and lived in caves. He used tools like sharpened bones, spears, and sharp stones to kill large animals for food. Then, he discovered fire by sparks coming out from rubbing stones. Ultimately, the early man started agriculture, and his first civilization began about 12,000 years ago. The early man lived with nature and sustainably utilized the natural resources. He lived in tribes had family units while some were nomadic. He had very simple lifestyles with primary hunting methods and simply sheltered houses. The early man followed spiritual beliefs more often. Early man did not have a proper method of communication and travel.


What is Modern Man?

Modern man belongs to the human species, Homo sapiens. The behavioral and physical modernity discriminates modern man from early man. This behavioral modernity of the modern man is characterized by cultural diversity, planning depth, abstract thinking, and symbolic expressions such as art and music. Homo sapiens were originated 200,000 to 100,000 years ago in Africa and Southern Asia. The ancestors of modern man are Neanderthal and Denisovan. The modern man still has the DNA of those ancestors. The genes of Neanderthal are present in modern man and are associated with disease conditions like Crohn’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and lupus. The modern man produces his food himself with farming. He is aware of domestication and has a settled lifestyle. Also, modern man shares different cultures among continents and countries. Modern man has improved the technologies thus removing the physical barriers of isolation from each other. He has developed the methods of travel and transport over oceans and even through aerial routes. Modern communication techniques include the internet, e-mailing, social networking, and telephones communication. Hence, the lifestyle of the modern man is complex. The population of modern man is increasing day by day.

Key Differences

  1. Early man is that stage of human evolution which refers to the ancestors of the current figures of the human race whereas the modern man is the subspecies of Homo sapiens.
  2. Early man freely moved and was a wanderer on the flip side modern man has a settled life in a particular residence.
  3. Early man was a hunter and forager conversely modern man is a food producer.
  4. The sensation of early man was limited to his immediate surroundings. On the other hand technology, the sensation of the modern man is widened through technology.
  5. Early man originated six million years ago while modern originated 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. Early man originated from apelike ancestors.
  6. Early man has very fewer means of communication whereas modern man is more advanced in technology and communication.


Early man and modern man are the two stages of human evolution with the difference of various physical and behavioral characteristics. Early man gradually transformed into the modern man.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson