Around 100,000 years ago, Earth was inhabited by various species of hominins, a group that includes modern humans and our closest extinct relatives. The most notable among these were:
Homo sapiens (Modern Humans): Our species, Homo sapiens, is believed to have appeared in Africa about 300,000 years ago. By 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens had started to spread out of Africa, though the majority still resided on the African continent.
Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis): Neanderthals were widespread in Europe and parts of western Asia. They were well-adapted to cold climates and are known for their robust builds and distinct cultural practices. They lived alongside and occasionally interbred with Homo sapiens.
Denisovans: A less well-known group, the Denisovans, are known primarily from genetic evidence and a few fossil fragments. They inhabited parts of Asia, and like Neanderthals, they also interbred with modern humans.
Homo erectus: By 100,000 years ago, Homo erectus was likely nearing the end of its existence. This species had a very long tenure on Earth, first appearing around 2 million years ago. They were widespread in Africa and Asia.
Other Homo species: There were likely other Homo species, some known and possibly some yet undiscovered, living in various regions of Africa and Eurasia.
These groups were characterized by their use of tools, varying social structures, and, in some cases, symbolic behavior and art. The period was marked by significant climatic changes, which these hominins adapted to in various ways. The interaction, both cultural and genetic, between these groups and early modern humans is a subject of ongoing research and fascination in anthropology and archaeology.