New “out of Africa” Exodus theory
December 7, 2017 - Advances in DNA analysis challenge the traditional “Out of Africa” model that modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago.
Recent discoveries published in Science show that humans left Africa multiple times before 60,000 years ago and that they interbred with other hominins in many locations across Eurasia.
Hominins, representing the earliest evolutionary phase of Homo sapiens, are believed to have dispersed from Jebel Irhoud in Morocco around 300,000 years ago.
Dr Christopher J. Bae and researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa confirm that palaeontologists have found modern human fossils in southern and central China between 70,000 and 120,000 years old.
The analysis cites other finds indicating that modern humans reached Southeast Asia and Australia between 70,000 and 65,000 years ago.
Recent genetic research has confirmed that modern humans interbred with other ancient hominins. In fact, estimates of Neanderthal DNA present in non-African modern humans range between one and four percent, while modern Melanesians have an average of five percent Denisovan heritage.
“It is an exciting time to be involved with interdisciplinary research projects across Asia,” said Bae
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