There are numerous theories of human evolution and dispersal. One such model is the “Out of Africa Model”. According, to it about 60,000 years ago, the modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed in Asia and reached Australia in a single wave. However, this model seems to be reversed by a recent research conducted by Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
This research establishes that prior to 60,000 years ago, humans left Africa multiple times. They interbred with other hominins such as Neanderthals and Denisovans, in many locations across Eurasia. This research was conducted by making use of fossil identification techniques and technological advances in DNA analysis. The research also found that all present-day non-African populations evolved from a single ancestral population in Africa approximately 60,000 years ago. This shows that around 120,000 years ago, there were multiple, smaller movements of humans out of Africa. It is estimated that the present day non-Africans have 1-4% Neanderthal heritage, while another group has estimated that modern Melanesians have an average of 5% Denisovan heritage. This establishes that modern humans had numerous interactions. This also confirms that the spread of material culture is more complex than estimated. The new research has put forward many questions that need answers. The authors wish to conduct new researches in many areas of Asia where none has been done till date. These researches prove useful in filling the gaps in evolutionary records.
By: Anuja Arora