Did early human cultures fan out from Arabia, not Africa?
|December 1, 2011||Posted by News under Human evolution, News|
From “The Nubian Complex in southern Arabia, 106 thousand years ago”(Dieneke’s Anthropology blog, December 1, 2011), we learn:
The pre-100ka Near East was seemingly teeming with modern humans; it may have been possible to dismiss these as the Out-of-Africa that failed when the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids were the only players in the game, but populations stretching from the Levant to southern Arabia did not simply vanish and were replaced after 70ka.
This leads to a conundrum:
Either geneticists are in error when they date the L3/modern human expansion to 70 thousand years ago, or
They are in error when they place its origin to Africa.
Quoting from Science NOW,
If modern humans were living in southern Arabia 106,000 years ago, the important question for human history is what happened next. Did they die out in Oman—another “failed expansion,” as archaeologists describe it—or migrate north, going on to populate the globe? If the latter, it would challenge current genetic data placing global human migration out of Africa perhaps 80,000 years ago. Instead of “out of Africa,” says Rose, “we could be looking at ‘out of Arabia.’ “
Hmmm. Here’s the abstract:
PLoS ONE 6(11): e28239. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028239
The Nubian Complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age Industry in Southern Arabia
Jeffrey I. Rose et al.
Despite the numerous studies proposing early human population expansions from Africa into Arabia during the Late Pleistocene, no archaeological sites have yet been discovered in Arabia that resemble a specific African industry, which would indicate demographic exchange across the Red Sea. Here we report the discovery of a buried site and more than 100 new surface scatters in the Dhofar region of Oman belonging to a regionally-specific African lithic industry – the late Nubian Complex – known previously only from the northeast and Horn of Africa during Marine Isotope Stage 5, ~128,000 to 74,000 years ago. Two optically stimulated luminescence age estimates from the open-air site of Aybut Al Auwal in Oman place the Arabian Nubian Complex at ~106,000 years ago, providing archaeological evidence for the presence of a distinct northeast African Middle Stone Age technocomplex in southern Arabia sometime in the first half of Marine Isotope Stage 5.
Considering the huge pop culture investment in Out of Africa, we’ll definitely watch this file.
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