A number of varieties of Goblinoid Homo Elvii are grouped into the broad category of proto-orcs or archaic orcs in the period beginning the 15.000 b.a.H. It typically includes groups of Goblinoids that shared several of the characteristics that will later be characteristic of the Orcs. This category is contrasted with anatomically orcs.
Orcs aretheorized to have evolved from Proto-Orcs, who in turn evolved from Homo Elvii.
Anatomical Orcs appear from about 5.000 b.a.H and after 2.000 b.a.H gradually marginalize the proto-orcs, which populations became either integrated among orcs or goblins. Proto-Orcs varieties are certain to have survived until the 500 b.a.H during the High Elven Imperialism, and perhaps as recent as the Apparition of Humanity.
Which of these, if any, are included under the term "proto orcs" is a matter of definition and varies among authors.
As the orcs themselves where a rather mixed group, often there are discussions if some groups listed as orcs couldn't be proto-orcs, or classified instead as goblins, or if some proto-orcs couldn't be instead considered orcs. Some scientists remain skeptical of these theories, suggesting that the unique features are within the variations expected for orcish populations.