Earth Science News  





.
ABOUT US
Modern Humans Reached Arabia Earlier Than Thought

Jebel Faya rockshelter from above, looking north, shows eboulis blocks from roof collapse and the location of excavation trenches. Credit: Science/AAAS
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 31, 2011
Artifacts unearthed in the United Arab Emirates date back 100,000 years and imply that modern humans first left Africa much earlier than researchers had expected, a new study reports. In light of their excavation, an international team of researchers led by Hans-Peter Uerpmann from Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen, Germany suggests that humans could have arrived on the Arabian Peninsula as early as 125,000 years ago - directly from Africa rather than via the Nile Valley or the Near East, as researchers have suggested in the past.

The timing and dispersal of modern humans out of Africa has been the source of long-standing debate, though most evidence has pointed to an exodus along the Mediterranean Sea or along the Arabian coast approximately 60,000 years ago.

This new research, placing early humans on the Arabian Peninsula much earlier, will appear in the 28 January issue of Science, which is published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.

The team of researchers, including lead author Simon Armitage from Royal Holloway, University of London, discovered an ancient human toolkit at the Jebel Faya archaeological site in the United Arab Emirates.

It resembles technology used by early humans in east Africa but not the craftsmanship that emerged from the Middle East, they say. This toolkit includes relatively primitive hand-axes along with a variety of scrapers and perforators, and its contents imply that technological innovation was not necessary for early humans to migrate onto the Arabian Peninsula.

Armitage calculated the age of the stone tools using a technique known as luminescence dating and determined that the artifacts were about 100,000 to 125,000 years old.

"These 'anatomically modern' humans - like you and me - had evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago and subsequently populated the rest of the world," said Armitage. "Our findings should stimulate a re-evaluation of the means by which we modern humans became a global species."

Uerpmann and his team also analyzed sea-level and climate-change records for the region during the last interglacial period, approximately 130,000 years ago. They determined that the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which separates Arabia from the Horn of Africa, would have narrowed due to lower sea-levels, allowing safe passage prior to and at the beginning of that last interglacial period.

At that time, the Arabian Peninsula was much wetter than today with greater vegetation cover and a network of lakes and rivers. Such a landscape would have allowed early humans access into Arabia and then into the Fertile Crescent and India, according to the researchers.

"Archaeology without ages is like a jigsaw with the interlocking edges removed - you have lots of individual pieces of information but you can't fit them together to produce the big picture," said Armitage.

"At Jebel Faya, the ages reveal a fascinating picture in which modern humans migrated out of Africa much earlier than previously thought, helped by global fluctuations in sea-level and climate change in the Arabian Peninsula."




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
American Association for the Advancement of Science
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
ABOUT US
Mathematical Model Explains How Complex Societies Emerge And Collapse
Bethesda MD (SPX) Jan 21, 2011
The instability of large, complex societies is a predictable phenomenon, according to a new mathematical model that explores the emergence of early human societies via warfare. Capturing hundreds of years of human history, the model reveals the dynamical nature of societies, which can be difficult to uncover in archaeological data. The research, led Sergey Gavrilets, associate director for ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


ABOUT US
Clinton visits quake-hit Haiti as new vote looms

Australia flags taxpayer levy for floods

No 'magic pot of money' for Australia floods: PM

UN says Pakistan still in emergency after floods

ABOUT US
Mobile 'apps' to be $58 billion market: study

News Corp. to launch iPad newspaper Wednesday

China's Lenovo, NEC form PC joint venture in Japan

Touchscreens Made Of Carbon

ABOUT US
Warming North Atlantic Water Tied To Heating Arctic

Precise Way To Monitor Ocean Wave Behavior And Shore Impacts

Study Finds Common Ground For Ecosystems And Fishing In Northwest Mexico

Fish consumption at all time high, says UN agency

ABOUT US
'Hidden Plumbing' Helps Slow Greenland Ice Flow

VIMS Team Glides Into Polar Research

Study alters Greenland glacier melt view

Scientists Find That Debris On Certain Himalayan Glaciers May Prevent Melting

ABOUT US
Fishy Consequences Of Transplanting Trout, Salmon, Whitefishes

China goes rabbit-crazy for Lunar New Year

Notre Dame Biologists Call For Regulation Of Rare Plant Sales

Smaller Rows Contribute To More Soybean Yields In Colder Climates

ABOUT US
Hundreds evacuate as Japan volcano erupts

Australia dodges cyclone 'bullet', but worse feared

Airlines resume Bali flights as volcano slows

Cyclones to hit flood-weary Australia

ABOUT US
Sudan recognises landslide vote for indepedent south

Nigeria religious war boosts poll tensions

French defence minister spells out Ivory Coast position

Commentary: Explosive kaleidoscope

ABOUT US
Modern Humans Reached Arabia Earlier Than Thought

Mathematical Model Explains How Complex Societies Emerge And Collapse

Date of humans out of Africa pushed back

Indonesia arrests suspect in asylum deaths


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal 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. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement