A group of prehistorians suggests that Homo sapiens has evolved from several African populations for 500,000 years.
The vision of the emergence of our species is changing! A bunch of prominent paleoanthropologists, Homo sapiens, has been the product of evolution for 200,000 years from a single population in a single African region.
Instead, these prehistorians offer a much more complex vision. According to them, the sapiens line began to emerge in Africa at least 500,000 years ago, which is obviously a consequence of the recent discovery of several Sapiens fossils some 315,000 years old … They go even further, starting from the observation that the oldest known sapiens fossils reflect a great morphological diversity and are scattered throughout Africa.
According to them, if we consider the archaeological, genetic, paleoclimatic and paleo ecological data, this situation corresponds rather to the idea that our species has diversified within a network of populations distributed throughout Africa. The various basins of these populations were separated by natural barriers, such as the Sahara or the forest, but linked by sporadic gene flows. The dissemination of the ancestral Sapiens population favored its hybridization with human forms diverging from Homo sapiens, hybridization which moreover continued to occur when Homo sapiens left Africa (all Eurasians are mestizos of Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo sapiens).
Archeology and the other paleo sciences will now have to be convened together each time we try to specify which native network Sapiens may have existed at a certain time. “The converging data from these different fields underline the importance of considering the structure of populations in models of human evolution. This should therefore lead us to question current patterns of changes in the size of the old population, and perhaps reinterpret some of the old bottlenecks, as changes in connectivity. “It’s all about networking today!
Editor-in-chief of the Scientific Origin, Shakes is the swiss-army knife of the Organization. Besides assuring the well-functioning of the magazine, he also covers stories ranging from science to health, to technology, to astronomy, etc… On a typical weekend, you’ll find him enjoying a picnic at a local park or playing soccer with friends.