Emigration of modern humans from Africa pushed back 01.28.11   Search

Stone Tools Found in Arabian Penisula Push Back the Date of Human Exodus from Africa to perhaps 125,000 Years Ago

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The modern man migrated from Africa to conquer the world there are at least a hundred thousand years by stone tools discovered in the Arabian Peninsula, long before previously thought, state of the literature revealed on Thursday that the role played by climate.

Neanderthal SkullsThe skulls of a Neanderthal man and Homo Sapiens exposed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington March 17, 2010.

The presence of modern humans in the Arabian Peninsula could even go back to 125,000 years, believes that international research team led by Hans-Peter Uerpmann Eberhard Karls University in Tuebingen, Germany.

This latest discovery is the subject of a paper in the journal Science on 28 January.

The period in which Homo sapiens began to migrate from Africa, where it appeared about 200,000 years ago, and the timing of its dispersal around the Mediterranean and along the coasts of Arabia, is the subject of a longstanding debate.

However, most previously discovered remains and traces this migration were dated to about 60,000 years.

The researchers, whose lead author is Simon Armitage Royal Holloway University of London, have discovered this set of tools in the archaeological site of Jebel Faya in the UAE. These include flint bifaces, carved on both sides to cut, dig and scrape, axes without handles and scrapers.

They started excavating in 2003, revealing first artifacts dating from the Iron Age, the Bronze and Neolithic, before finding these tools that date back to the Middle Paleolithic period from 300,000 to 30,000 years.

These archaeologists have resorted to a technique for optically stimulated luminescence used to measure how long the materials have not been exposed to light.

The researchers determined that these stone tools were up to a period ranging from 100,000 to 125,000 years.

According to them, these tools show that the techniques used to manufacture similar to the ones used by early modern humans in East Africa, the cradle of humanity.

These researchers also determined that this migration was in favor of climate change.

“The site of Jebel Faya opens a fascinating window into the past, revealing the migration of modern humans out of Africa much earlier than previously thought. These migrations have been driven by fluctuations in sea level and Climate Change in the Arabian Peninsula “, summarizes Simon Armitage.

The emergence of modern humans in Africa 200,000 years ago until 130,000 years and is a glacial period during which the oceans in both hemispheres decreased significantly.

During the transition between glaciation and warming, the level of the Red Sea remained up to a hundred meters lower than it is today making the Strait of Bab al-Mandab between Arabia and the Horn Africa sufficiently close to allow for a crossing, these scholars have determined.

Modern man would be out of Africa to go directly to the Saudi and the Fertile Crescent before going to India and Australia, they said.

In addition, the Arabian Peninsula was more humid and green at that time today thanks to the monsoon in the Indian Ocean that then extended to the north.

But not all archaeologists are not convinced by the findings of these researchers.

Paul Mellars, University of Cambridge (Great Britain), does not think the tools of Jebel Faya define techniques for East Africa and stress that the authors of the discovery have not completely ruled out that they could have been made by Neanderthals or Homo erectus, ancient cousins of modern humans.

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