Everyone knows we came out of Africa. Yet at one stage, many millions of years ago, our ancestors disappeared from Africa, but remained in Europe. Then Europe emptied out back into Africa. Some of the key traits that make us human such as big brains, dexterous hands, erect posture and a long childhood developed in Europe and were then taken back to Africa. Continue reading Our deep origins in Europe and Africa
Whatever wave of migration we look at, someone was already there. Colin Barras in the New Scientist (paywalled) takes a look at the three ancestral waves of migration that founded Western civilisation.
First were the hunter-gatherers. Then came the farmers. These were followed by the Yamnaya, originating from herders on the steppes north of the Black Sea, who brought the horse and the wagon, and the Indo-European language that predominates in Europe, except for Basque, Estonian, Finnish and Magyar (Hungarian). Continue reading Deep origins: early Europe
Back in January 2011 I wrote about contact between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis in Neanderthals r us as modern humans moved out of Africa about 45,000 years ago. I was troubled by the lack of mention of Australian Aborigines in the article the post was based on. At the time, from memory, it was thought that Australian Aborigines had been here 10,000 years earlier than that. Continue reading Pushing back the African exodus