Ancient stone artifacts may shed light on how humans 'dispersed' out of Africa
Researchers have recently excavated ancient stone artifacts in Saudi Arabia that might provide deeper insight into how humans dispersed out of Africa.
Scientists said that the stone artifacts recently unearthed in the Arabian Desert date to at least 100,000 years ago and this could be evidence of an early modern-human exodus out of Africa, Discovery News reported.
However, it's possible that these artifacts weren't created by modern humans; a number of now-extinct human lineages existed outside Africa before or at the same time when modern humans migrated there. For instance, the Neanderthals, the closest known extinct relatives of modern humans, lived in both Europe and Asia around that time.
To help shed light on the role the Arabian Peninsula might have played in the history of modern humans; scientists compared stone artifacts recently excavated from three sites in the Jubbah lake basin in northern Saudi Arabia with items from northeast Africa excavated in the 1960s. Both sets of artifacts were 70,000 to 125,000 years old.
Back then, the areas that are now the Arabian and Sahara deserts were far more hospitable places to live than they are now, which could have made it easier for modern humans and related lineages to migrate out of Africa.
Ancient migrants out of Africa and from Eurasia might have encountered a number of different populations in the Arabian Peninsula. Some of these groups might have adapted to their environment more than others had, which raises the intriguing question "Did the exchange of genes and knowledge between such groups contribute to our ultimate success as a species?"
(Posted on 28-08-2014)