Study dates arrival of humans in Asia

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The first anatomically modern humans almost certainly arrived in southern Asia within the last 70,000 years, having dispersed as small groups of pioneer settlers along coastal regions from Africa, say British scientists.


But another expert has disputed their proposal, saying there is still too little evidence to say for certain how humans dispersed into the region.

Using a combination of genetic and archaeological evidence, scientists led by University of Cambridge archaeologist Professor Paul Mellars and geneticist Professor Martin Richards, from the University of Huddersfield, say modern humans left eastern Africa sometime after 70,000 years ago and dispersed along the coast to the region south of the Himalayas.

The research, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science , is the latest volley in a heated debate about how, and when, humans spread around the globe.

The controversy has been particularly intense when it comes to the southern part of the Asian continent, the authors say.

Some scientists think modern humans arrived in the region 50,000 to 60,000 years ago having originated as a small group who left Africa and expanded around the coastlines of southern and southeast Asia.

Written By: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
continue to source article at cbc.ca

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  1. These things have a tendency to be pushed further back in time. For instance, once it was thought that European settlers only ‘discovered’ the American continent long after the asiatic Native American populations arrived, but evidence has since been found regarding ‘landings’ by nordic Viking explorers centuries before Columbus. I suspect the timescale will continue being pushed back for some time.

    • In reply to #1 by TanyaK:

      These things have a tendency to be pushed further back in time. For instance, once it was thought that European settlers only ‘discovered’ the American continent long after the asiatic Native American populations arrived, but evidence has since been found regarding ‘landings’ by nordic Viking explorers centuries before Columbus. I suspect the timescale will continue being pushed back for some time.

      The Viking explorers were still a very long time after the Asiatic populations arrived. The asiatic populations arrived in the Americas about 15,000 years ago; the Vikings only a few hundred years before Columbus.

      There is good evidence that some modern humans previously emigrated from Africa around 120,000 years ago and lived in the Levant, but that population died out by 90,000 years ago.

      There is little doubt that all humans around the world today who are not of recent sub-Saharan descent are descended from a small African emigration into Arabia around 70,000 years ago. All Asians, Australasians, Europeans and Americans are descended from this population. This is supported by genetic as well as archeological evidence. I don’t think this date is going to be pushed back significantly. It’s just a question of fine-tuning the date.

      Alice Robert’s BBC documentary “The Incredible Human Journey” is a very enjoyable series covering this story.

      • In reply to #4 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee:

        In reply to #1 by TanyaK:

        Yes, yes, I know, lol – my point was a general one, not specifically about that. I was merely commenting that I shan’t ‘hold my breath yet’, as we say in England, because this type of study tends to have the timescale moved backwards as research follows research. ok?

  2. The main bone of contention here, is whether modern humans were there before or after the Toba eruption. Toba was a super volcano and based on the genetic variation we see today, in the human species, it is estimated that humans might have been down to only a couple of thousand individuals in total following the event.

  3. The moderators are threatening free speech on this website! Even to disagree is with their decisions is met with the instant threat of being banned from discussion. They have deleted my post for containing the word ‘cant’, which cannot possibly be deemed offensive. and many other persons posts in addition. The moderator responsible for this seems very fascist in outlook, and is clearly unsuited to the position. Please see the post about Russian laws penalising insulting religion. It seems that the moderators would act the same if they were in power. I’ve been visiting this site for years; this is disgusting.

    Moderators’ message

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