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Human Prehistory 101 (Part 1 of 3): Out of (Eastern) Africa

for tens of thousands of years Homo sapiens lived throughout Africa but only some of these people were our ancestors by sixty thousand years ago our ancestors were on the move and then expansions started to have staying power we don’t know how fast or how far they traveled today and together a groups move on average about one kilometer a year it’s about a half mile but it’s not always consistent what we do know is this as their descendants moved into new environments they became more isolated from one another setting the stage for the high level of genetic diversity that we see in Africa today by 50,000 years ago people started making more sophisticated tools and creating a lot more art did new language abilities spark this burst of innovation maybe a genetic change in the population allowed some people to express more complex concepts through language and so to out-compete those who couldn’t no one really knows around 50,000 years ago small groups of travelers crossed into Asia possibly as few as a hundred people in all everyone alive today who has any non African ancestors is probably descended from these travelers within a few thousand years climatic conditions became dryer and the Sahara Desert expanded making it harder to turn back the intrepid travelers and their descendants followed a coastal route Eastwood in Asia reaching present-day Malaysia within a few millennia did they meet her erectus along the way by 45,000 years ago people were living in parts of Australia and making their mark in order to get there they had to cross the 90 kilometres that’s about 50 miles of open water which separates Australia from the nearest islands who presently Indonesia just how this was done no one knows it’s amazing to think that people reach to Australia and Europe at around the same time traveling eastward and salt would long the coast of Asia people didn’t experience big environmental changes but heading northward into Europe they faced extremely harsh cold climates and tough terrain as humans moved into Europe they also ran into the Neanderthals who had been living there for hundreds of thousands of years the Neanderthals were stocky and physically better adapted to the cold climate but the newcomers proved to be very skilled at shaping natural materials into useful and attractive objects though the Neanderthals may have acquired some of their neighbors advanced technologies they soon found it hard to keep up human success might have meant the Neanderthals downfall the two populations coexisted even into bread for a few millennia but by thirty-five thousand years ago nay on details were confined to the southwest corner of Europe and soon thereafter they had disappeared another unsolved mystery yes our story is full of them Homo sapiens outlasted their cousins and expanded they reach across Africa Eurasia and Australia but soon times got tough for everyone how would our ancestors cope with the extreme temperatures of the Ice Age

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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