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January 31 2013

New theory on African exit


Modern humans left Africa twice as early as previously thought, spreading in a number of climate-driven waves, new research suggests.

The paper, published in Quaternary International, pours fresh doubt on the previously-held consensus that humans spread from Africa in a single cohort.

'The consensus view has been that modern humans left Africa around 60,000 years ago by a coastal route, skirting around some very arid places, and spread to Australia very quickly,' explains Professor Michael Petraglia of the University of Oxford, one of the study's authors.

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