migration, modern humans, Neanderthals

A new study has revealed that Homo sapiens or so-called humans migrated from Africa much earlier that than previously thought and this migration was not a single wave but a multiple one. Hence, the latest study debunks the so-called “Out of Africa” theory of modern human which hypnotized that humans evolved from Africa and then they migrated to Asia and other parts of the world nearly 60,000 years ago in a single wave. The latest study claims that the migration of humans from Africa to Asian continent took place much before the years estimated by Out of Africa theory and that migration was not a singular wave but took place multiple times.

The study says that recent researches and new discoveries over the last decade indicate that modern humans likely originated from multiple migrations from Africa and the migration started as early as 1,20,000 years ago. This new “Out of Africa” theory is based on the fossil evidence in southern and China that dated between 70,000 and 1, 20,000 years ago. The new theory does not completely disagree with the original Out of Africa theory as it says although a huge migration occurred from Africa occurred around 60,000 years, still many small groups migrated earlier. Michael Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, said, “The initial dispersals out of Africa prior to 60 000 years ago were likely by small groups of foragers, and at least some of these early dispersals left low-level genetic traces in modern human populations.” He then said that a later, major ‘Out of Africa’ event most likely occurred around 60,000 years ago or thereafter.

Apart from discovering new timelines for human migrations the research team also revealed that they have got strong evidence regarding interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthals along with more recently discovered relatives, the Denisovans, and other hominin groups. This indicates that there were frequent interactions between modern humans and other groups inside Asia which further complicates the evolutionary history of humans. He revised the timeline of the huge migration from Africa Asia was based on many of the latest discoveries that were reported from Asia over the past decade which were made possible by technological advances and interdisciplinary collaborations, as stated by the new study.

So, from the study, we got to know that humans from Africa migrated more profoundly and reached many distant parts of Asia as well as Near Oceania and the migration took place mo0re early than previously thought. Also, there was interbreeding between modern humans and other groups including Neanderthals and Denisovans. This complicated the origin theory of humans as well as their behavioral progression. “Indeed, what we are seeing in the behavioral record is that the spread of so-called modern human behaviors did not occur in a simple time-transgressive process from west to east. Rather, ecological variation needs to be considered in concert with behavioral variation between the different hominin populations present in Asia during the Late Pleistocene,” explained co-author Christopher Bae of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The latest study was published in the journal Science.


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