Archive for the ‘human migration’ Category

Nubian cores in Arabia and South Africa

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Here’s a nice piece on how the implications of Nubian cores found in Arabia and South Africa explain the dispersal of Homo sapiens.

Do these Nubian artefacts reflect a great migration of north-east Africans to the continent’s southern tip? Or are they the result of convergence in the face of finite possibilities?

For several reasons, we think that they reflect convergence. First, we could find no evidence of Nubian-like cores in the 6000 km between the classic Nubian belt and south-west Africa. If there was a great migration, it is one that left no evidence in the intervening space. Second, our artefacts likely occur some 15,000 to 60,000 years too late for the typical Nubian.

To put that in perspective, it would require people to maintain the same technology across 750 to 3000 generations, all the while moving from the Sahara across central Africa and down into the temperate zones of southern Africa.


Convergence, eh? I might be dissuaded of my uninformed, fanciful ideas soon.

Kennewick Man’s closest living relatives are Native Americans

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Moriori and Ainu are ruled out. Kennewick Man’s closest living relatives are Native Americans. However, he’s not strongly linked to any specific group or tribe as there have been insufficient genetic studies.

Though they were not able to directly link the Kennewick Man to any specific modern tribe, the researchers argue that the Colville people may be more closely related to Kennewick Man than other Native Americans. Two possible scenarios emerge from the analysis. First, around 9,200 years ago, an ancient population of humans in North America split into two branches. One produced Kennewick Man a few hundred years later, and one gave rise to modern Native Americans, including the Colville. In the second scenario, Kennewick Man could be a direct ancestor of the Colville, and over time, an influx of DNA from other groups could have made that connection hard to distinguish.

It’s about heritage. We cannot possibly understand.

To be honest… no, I don’t respect every desire of every culture. Reverence for nature and for ancestors makes sense, but willfully to choose ignorance of human origins is annoying. The arguments for not studying who Kennewick Man is sound as convincing as the arguments of anti-vaxxers and homeopaths.


possibly 13,200 year old human footprints in British Columbia, Canada

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Here’s a cool story about an investigation of a site in which there’s human footprints dating from the end of the last Ice Age in British Columbia.

advanced technology was not a European invention

Monday, June 8th, 2015

45,000 year old shell tools in Lebanon.

I have a sneaky feeling one day older tools similar to these will be found in South Africa, but that’s just a crazy, wild guess.

hopefully the last gasp of Northern Route dogmatists

Monday, June 1st, 2015

I’m glad that I’m not the only one uncomfortable about the news about the new paper proposing how humans left Africa. Resurrecting the North Route just seems weird. Dienekes points out Egypt has had a lot of gene flow through the years, even when one takes the European ancestry out of the equation.

Ancient human fossils from Laos cave demonstrate early human diversity

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Ancient human fossils from Laos cave demonstrate early human diversity. 46,000 to 63,000 years ago.

Evidence of admixture of another archaic species?

TPL2 has a clear chin, with a midline tuber symphyseos and paired lateral tubercles and a mentum osseum category rank 4. This is the most common pattern demonstrated by modern humans, with 56.3% of East Asian early modern humans and a vast majority of western Eurasian early modern humans (71.4%) demonstrating this pattern. In contrast, 57.7% of Neandertals demonstrate a rank of 2 with no projecting tuber symphyseos and no archaic human has a value above a rank of 3

more ghosts of the unloved Solutrean hypothesis

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

A characteristic blade and pieces of a mastodon skull dredged from Chesapeake Bay in 1974 get a closer examination decades later.

chipping away at Out of Africa 60k

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Bit by bit the evidence is mounting to overturn the Out of Africa at 60,000 years ago model. I’m patient.

The Toba explosion causing that genetic bottleneck still has my sympathy, although this study from last year disputing that is interesting. Hell, I’m grateful to that piece alone, as I forgot this bit about the excavation near Jwalapuram in India.

Happisburgh prints

Friday, February 7th, 2014

This news of 800,000 year old human footprints in Norfolk seems too good to be true.

Let’s wait and see.


TB followed humans out of Africa

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

TB followed humans out of Africa.