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According to archaeologist, Dr Alan Thorne, “There's always been people who for various philosophical or scientific or political reasons have wanted aborigines to have only arrived the week before last Tuesday, and those who have thought that aboriginal people may well have evolved partially here, and have made adaptations physically and culturally over a very long period.”
The current accepted estimates of earliest occupation float somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 years. But in the last 12 months there’s been talk in scientific circles of dates as old as 150,000 years. Conventional wisdom holds that at that time Homo sapiens was only just venturing out of Africa. So if this date were to prove correct there’d have to be a major reassessment of how humans spread across the globe.
For most of the last 250,000 years Australia and New Guinea have been connected by land across the shallow body of water that currently separates them (Gulf of Carpentaria). The most recent connected Cape York with New Guinea 10,000 years ago "bridging" the twelve meter deep Torres Strait. The land bridge and other geological events make New Guinea Australia's most recent zoogeographic province.
There were extensive land bridges between islands in present-day Indonesia, connected them to the southeast Asian mainland. These made it possible for early humans to travel from Africa to islands like Borneo. In what is the first confirmed instance of humans traveling over a significant stretch of open ocean, early man built rafts and made it across the present-day Wallace Line, a deep sea channel in central Indonesia that separates the fauna of west Indonesia (which is more Asian) from east Indonesia (more Australian). From the east side of the Wallace Line, these people reached New Guinea and Australia, which were also connected by land bridges.
Originally posted by spellbound
reply to post by TheWalkingFox
I don't think that ancient humans came to Australia - I think they were already there - or close by, in New Guinea.
Who is to say that they did not originate in Australia or New Guinea?
DNA evidence linking Indian tribes to Australian Aboriginal people supports the theory humans arrived in Australia from Africa via a southern coastal route through India, say researchers. The research, lead by Dr Raghavendra Rao from the Anthropological Survey of India, is published in the current edition of BMC Evolutionary Biology.
One theory is that modern humans arrived in Australia via an inland route through central Asia but Rao says most scientists believe modern humans arrived via the coast of South Asia. Skeletal remains, dating back between 40-60,000 years from Lake Mungo in New South Wales, also support the theory that modern human arrived in Australia at least as far back as this, he says.
The Pleistocene (pronounced /ˈplaɪstəsiːn/) is the epoch from 2.588 million to 12 000 years BP covering the world's recent period of repeated glaciations.
Each glacial advance tied up huge volumes of water in continental ice sheets 1500–3000 m thick, resulting in temporary sea level drops of 100 m or more over the entire surface of the Earth. During interglacial times, such as at present, drowned coastlines were common, mitigated by isostatic or other emergent motion of some regions.
THE FIRST INHABITANTS : Last May, the Australian National University released this photograph, taken in 1974, of the skeleton of a man from Lake Mungo, NSW which the university has now dated at between 56,000 and 68,000 years old. Previously, the remains had been dated at just 30,000 years old. REUTERS FILE PHOTO
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) researchers have opened a window into the past by exposing ancient mangrove forests entombed beneath the Great Barrier Reef. AIMS biologist Dr Dan Alongi said the expedition was surveying the impact of nutrients on coastal inshore areas when scientists unearthed mangrove forests in old river channels they believe may snake for 30 kilometres to the edge of the continental shelf. Scientists have long theorised that sea level rose very gradually over several thousand years, but these remnant mangrove forests tell another story. While it was previously known that relic river beds exist beneath the Great Barrier Reef, formed 9000 years ago when the sea level was lower than the continental shelf, their significance was never studied.
"When we took the first samples it was difficult to believe… we stood amazed wondering what exactly we were dealing with. We thought it was cyclone debris, but it was far too deep to be a modern event," said Dr Alongi. AIMS researchers cored 1-2 metres of sediment and found remnant mangrove 70 centimetres below the surface of the present seafloor. These core samples of mud are an evolutionary time frame. The evidence will help to establish the state of the reef and nutrient sediment information as it existed prior to human activity. Dr Alongi said the mangroves were incredibly well preserved; a fact most likely attributed to the antibiotic properties in the concentrated tannins. "The cores still have the characteristic smell of tannins, that’s why we thought they were young.
"Within the cores were intact root systems and parts of trees including twigs and branches that radiocarbon dating put between 8550 and 8740 years of age. "There’s such an abrupt change in core composition from mud-like substance to intact mangrove branches…from the modern to the ancient, that it suggests a large climate change happened," said Dr Alongi.
Migration was achieved during the closing stages of the Pleistocene, when sea levels were much lower than they are today. Repeated episodes of extended glaciation during the Pleistocene epoch, resulted in decreases of sea levels by more than 100 metres in Australasia. The continental coastline extended much further out into the Timor Sea, and Australia and New Guinea formed a single landmass (known as Sahul), connected by an extensive land bridge across the Arafura Sea, Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait. Nevertheless, the sea still presented a major obstacle so it is theorised that these ancestral people reached Australia by island hopping. Two routes have been proposed. One follows an island chain between Sulawesi and New Guinea and the other reaches North Western Australia via Timor.
The sharing of animal and plant species between Australia-New Guinea and nearby Indonesian islands is another consequence of the early land bridges, which closed when sea levels rose with the end of the last glacial period. The sea level stabilised to near its present levels about 6000 years ago, flooding the land bridge between Australia and New Guinea.
Originally posted by halfoldman
reply to post by riley
Well this is the problem that the post starts with (framed in a highly disputable book).
The short answer is no.
Neanderthal man lived in Europe with adaptions to the cold. The latest DNA suggests that they were the last other species of humans (once there were 5 or more) except us (Homo Sapiens). They could not have produced fertile off-spring with humans.
In Africa (or Europe) one can find diverse varions from an area smaller than Australia. In Africa we have pygmies, Bantu people, Hamites and Khoisan (Busmen) in relatively small areas. The black Hadza tribe in Tanzania split from the Khoisan original group 40 000 years ago, according to DNA evidence.
Such Evidence suggests that the New Guineans and aborigines shared common ancestors 70 000 years ago. This is more than enough time to develop regional variations. The Tasmanians were also seperated from the main group about 10 000 years ago. The differences are thus relatively minor, when one considers that other races turned white in less time!