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Genetic and archaeological perspectives on the initial modern human colonization of southern Asia

Mellars, Paul, Gori, Kevin C., Carr, Martin, Soares, Pedro A. and Richards, Martin B. (2013) Genetic and archaeological perspectives on the initial modern human colonization of southern Asia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (26). pp. 10699-10704. ISSN 0027-8424

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Abstract

It has been argued recently that the initial dispersal of anatomically modern humans from Africa to southern Asia occurred before the volcanic “supereruption” of the Mount Toba volcano (Sumatra) at ∼74,000 y before present (B.P.)—possibly as early as 120,000 y B.P. We show here that this “pre-Toba” dispersal model is in serious conflict with both the most recent genetic evidence from both Africa and Asia and the archaeological evidence from South Asian sites. We present an alternative model based on a combination of genetic analyses and recent archaeological evidence from South Asia and Africa. These data support a coastally oriented dispersal of modern humans from eastern Africa to southern Asia ∼60–50 thousand years ago (ka). This was associated with distinctively African microlithic and “backed-segment” technologies analogous to the African “Howiesons Poort” and related technologies, together with a range of distinctively “modern” cultural and symbolic features (highly shaped bone tools, personal ornaments, abstract artistic motifs, microblade technology, etc.), similar to those that accompanied the replacement of “archaic” Neanderthal by anatomically modern human populations in other regions of western Eurasia at a broadly similar date.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Schools: School of Applied Sciences
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Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2013 09:33
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2013 09:33
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/17897

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