Reading about homonid evolution has me thinking about Kage Baker’s The Company novels. This is not exactly a recommendation. Like many things, The Company series was a dumb story in an interesting setting. 8 years later I’ve completely forgotten the story but the world is still pretty cool.
It’s the year 2300. Your company has invented immortality… but it has to be done before age 6, and only works on a small percentage of the population, and you’re only kind of human afterwords. Your company also invents time travel… but you can only go back and you can’t change recorded history. Neither of these are monetizable on their own, but together The Company R+D department manages to pull itself out of the fire. It sends a few people back in time to create immortal ~humans, who steal famous art pieces and such right before they were due to go missing any way, and preserve them until you can sell them in the present. It isn’t exactly creating value, but you’re making money off of it.
That idea was fine, although it’s impossible to do 10 time travel books without paradoxes or an idiot ball. But every once in a while there’d be a mention of another homonid species that survived without humanity’s awareness. There were a bunch of immortal semi-robotic neanderthal-and-older knights the Company couldn’t get rid of because immortality is forever. There’s also a population of eusocial, potion making dwarves that continued to hide from humanity right through 2400 that occasionally pop up.
Again, not recommending, but if you need light reading and really like homonids evolution you could do worse.