Early Human Migration from Africa Could Have Started Much Earlier than Estimates: Research

Early Human Migration from Africa Could Have Started Much Earlier than Estimates: Research

Human migration from Africa could have started earlier than previously estimated 60,000 years ago, as per new research. As per “Out of Africa” theory on human migration, home sapiens migrated from Africa to Asian regions. Researchers have recently found fossils in southern and central China dating between 70,000 and 120,000 years ago.

The research team suggests that as per “Out of Africa” theory, a major migration could have occurred around 60,000 years back. However, there could have been migration in smaller groups much earlier, possibly 120,000 years ago. Details of the current research have been published in journal Science.

Study co-author Michael Petraglia, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, said, “The original Out of Africa theory isn’t completely inaccurate. The early migrants were likely small groups of foragers. A later, major ‘Out of Africa’ event most likely occurred around 60 000 years ago or thereafter.”

As per DNA evaluation of different races, among modern non-Africans today, one to four percent of the DNA comes from Neanderthals and as much as five percent may be from Denisovans.

Professor Petraglia added, “The initial dispersals out of Africa prior to 60 000 years ago were likely by small groups of foragers, and at least some of these early dispersals left low-level genetic traces in modern human populations.”

Many research teams have been working on similar projects. With discovery of new fossils, researchers are able to provide better information regarding human migration and development of civilizations in different regions across the world. “Indeed, what we are seeing in the behavioral record is that the spread of so-called modern human behaviors did not occur in a simple time-transgressive process from west to east,” said Christopher Bae of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, another coauthor of the study.

The research paper published in journal Science informed, "It is now clear that modern humans, Neanderthals, Denisovans and perhaps other hominin groups likely overlapped in time and space in Asia, and they certainly had many instances of interaction."