Out of Africa kicks back

12 Jun 2013

At www.hud.ac.uk/news/researchnews/archaeogeneticresearchrefutesearlierfind... ... well, I never, kicked into touch - now bouncing back. You can't keep a good consensus theory down - it will pop up again at any moment. New research refutes evidence produced in 2007 - early modern humans did not reach India until 60,000 years ago.

When did modern humans settle in Asia? What route did they take? The archaeogeneticists at the University of Huddersfield claim in a paper published by PNAS that modern humans did not arrive in Asia until after the Mount Toba super volcano, 74,000 years ago - in spite of the discovery of stone tools on the wrong side of the Toba ash layer. Their view is that they migrated along the coast of Arabia to India around 60,000 years ago - and they claim certainty with the date. The new evidence appears to be based on DNA and an assumed rate of change - based on 1000 sequences from modern India. Mountains can be made out of mole hills - and geneticists have contrary views about the rate of change in DNA, but there is an interesting parallel in that modern humans didn't turn up in Europe until 40,000 years ago. Therefore, anatomically modern humans may have entered India at about the same time, or somewhat earlier (depending where the ice extent was between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago). The researchers cannot look at the DNA of the stone tool makers (prior to 74,000 years ago) as they don't have any bodies to sample and simply dismiss them as Neanderthals or Homo Erectus.

The other side will be back - this story will run and run.

To get some idea of what other anthropologists might think go to http://dienekes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/60-50-thousand-coastal-migration-...