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An international team of archaeologists is reporting 77,000-year-old evidence for preserved plant bedding and the use of insect-repelling plants in a rock shelter in South Africa. This discovery is 50,000 years older than earlier reports of preserved bedding and provides a fascinating insight into the behavioural practices of early modern humans in southern Africa.
Originally posted by ignant
sound, as doesnt 77K years ago coincide with the most common date agreed upon
by which humans were already beginning to migrate out of Africa by?
Such finds suggest that Asia's earliest human ancestors may be older by hundreds of thousands of years than previously believed, the scientists say.Robin Dennell, of the University of Sheffield in England, and Wil Roebroeks, of Leiden University in the Netherlands, describe their ideas in the December 22, 2005 issue of Nature.
The fossil and archaeological finds characteristic of early modern humans are represented at various sites in East and South Africa, which date between 160,000 and 77,000 years ago.
The replacement model of Christopher Stringer and Peter Andrews proposes that modern humans evolved from archaic humans 200,000-150,000 years ago only in Africa and then some of them migrated into the rest of the Old World replacing all of the Neanderthals and other late archaic humans beginning around 60,000-40,000 years ago.
If this interpretation of the fossil record is correct, all people today share a relatively modern African ancestry. All other lines of humans that had descended from Homo erectus presumably became extinct. From this view, the regional anatomical differences that we now see among humans are recent developments--evolving mostly in the last 40,000 years. This hypothesis is also referred to as the "out of Africa", "Noah's ark", and "African replacement" model
Researchers are beginning to play with the idea that our culture could be influencing evolution, says Robert Moyzis of the University of California, Irvine. He has shown that 7R arose as a rare mutation 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, after we left Africa, then spread rapidly in human populations.
The 2R allele is a modified version that arose in Asia less than 10,000 years ago. He has also shown that people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are twice as likely to have the 7R allele. He thinks some of what we consider ADHD symptoms, like rapidly shifting focus and quick movements, are actually survival traits that were selected for during our migration out of Africa.