Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

How did early humans survive aridity and prolonged drought in Africa
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Jul 26, 2017

Cultural flexibility and innovation was essential to early human populations as they adapted to a rapidly changing climate.

A new study, published this week in the journal PNAS, highlights the cultural adaptations that allowed early humans to expand into a variety of environments between 66,000 to 59,000 years ago, despite prolonged acidification in Southern Africa.

Researchers argue the early adaptability of the so-called Howiesons Poort techno-cultural tradition paved the way for the progress of modern humans.

"The most distinct of the many cultural innovations in the HP culture were the invention of the bow and arrow, different methods of heating raw materials -- stone -- before knapping to produce arrow heads, engraving ostrich eggshells with elaborate patterns, intensive use of hearths and relatively intense hunting and gathering practices," researcher Christopher Henshilwood, a professor at Wits University in South Africa, said in a news release.

A thorough survey of paleo-climatic data from HP archaeological sites proves the techno-tradition emerged and evolved during a period of pronounced aridity.

When scientists compared the distribution and trajectory of the Howiesons Poort tradition with the Still Bay tradition, which lasted from 76,000 to 71,000 years ago, they found the HP culture was more expansive and better able to adapt to a diverse array of environments.

The Still Bay tradition was highly advanced. The culture featured new methods for making spear points, as well as stylized bone tools and personal ornamentation. But the latest research suggests the HP culture was similarly advanced, yet more efficient and flexible.

"It seems from the little evidence that we have that the population of Homo sapiens in southern Africa was considerably larger during the Howiesons Poort period," said Henshilwood.

Though the first Homo sapiens emerged in Southern Africa roughly 260,000 years ago, modern humans continued to exhibit the same cultural and technological characteristics of their more primitive ancestors for at least another 160,000 years. It wasn't until 100,000 years ago that modern humans began to develop techno-cultural traditions distinct from non-modern populations.

Detailing the emergence of these early techno-cultural traditions can help paleontologists trace the trajectory of early modern human populations.

In saliva, clues to a 'ghost' species of ancient human
Buffalo NY (SPX) Jul 25, 2017
In saliva, scientists have found hints that a "ghost" species of archaic humans may have contributed genetic material to ancestors of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa today. The research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that sexual rendezvous between different archaic human species may not have been unusual. Past studies have concluded that the forebears of modern hum ... read more

Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Smart sensors could save lives

New phase change mechanism could lead to new class of chemical vapor sensors

Robot finds possible melted fuel inside Fukushima reactor

Cheap 3D printed prosthetics could be game changer for Nepal

Writing with the electron beam: Now in silver

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

A new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals

Synthetic materials systems that can "count" and sense their size

Coral gardening is benefiting Caribbean reefs

Vietnam says four fishermen wounded by Indonesian navy

Coastal armoring and its ecological effects in soft sediment environments

Health risk alarm over water rationing in Rome

A new model yields insights into glaciers' retreats and advances

NASA flights gauge summer sea ice melt in the Arctic

Thawing permafrost releases old greenhouse gas

Microbe study highlights Greenland ice sheet toxicity

Disneyland China falls a-fowl of huge turkey leg demand

French grape harvest heading to historic low

Kenyan cattle herders defend 'necessary' land invasions

Using treated graywater for irrigation is better for arid environments

Floodwaters swallow Myanmar pagoda

Eight more dead in India's worsening monsoon floods

25 found dead as toll from Indian floods nears 120: officials

Crustal limestone platforms feed carbon to many of Earth's arc volcanoes

Two German UN peacekeepers killed in Mali helicopter crash

China warns Botswana over Dalai Lama visit

Peace deal eludes Senegal's Casamance, 35 years on

Rwandan forces killing suspects without trial: HRW

How did early humans survive aridity and prolonged drought in Africa

In saliva, clues to a 'ghost' species of ancient human

Artifacts suggest humans arrived in Australia earlier than thought

Startup touts neuro-stimulation as 'medicine for the brain'

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement