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LINK New evidence about the human occupation of Asia is cascading in | Aeon Essays

There is still a tremendous amount of research to do in Asian palaeoanthropology. The increasing number of contributions coming out of Asia is forcing scholars to rethink how they view various modern human origin models. Indeed, just this January, a study in Science indicated that the earliest modern humans in Asia date to between 177,000 and 194,000 years ago from the Misliya cave in Israel. It seems as if, every few weeks now, a new hominin fossil, genetic study, archaeological site, or re-dating of old sites is reported from the vast Asian continent, a continent that still has large swathes of areas yet to be intensively explored. If nothing else, the picture as it appears thus far is much more complicated than the old Out-of-Africa models: there were multiple earlier dispersals from Africa, and much more interbreeding between species than we once thought. The story of ourselves, it turns out, becomes richer the more we know about it.

zblaze 7 Apr 5
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9 comments

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I thought species couldn't interbreed. I thought that was literally the delineation between species.

It is, you're correct. They talking about hominids from thousands of years ago, and consider the Neanderthals a different species....
From the beginning of the article:
Modern humans arose only once, in Africa, about 200,000 years ago. They then spread across Eurasia some time after 60,000 years ago, replacing whatever indigenous populations they met with no interbreeding. This is the ‘Out of Africa’ model, as it’s commonly known. In the 1990s, the hypothesis found widespread acceptance by palaeoanthropologists, especially when the first analyses of Neanderthal DNA seemed to indicate that Neanderthals and modern humans did not interbreed. But this popular idea is in need of revision, particularly given the number of important findings across Asia over the past few decades.

@zblaze I feel like there is a naming bias going on here. If they were talking about dogs, they would say breeds. Those look different, but can still produce offspring. Maybe people aren't ready to talk about breeds of homonids

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I hope you don't mind, but I'm stealing this for my group! Thanks in advance!

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Our understanding of the origin and spread of our species is still in its infancy. Wonderful age to be in though as the new tools we now have, especially DNA, are giving us insights Leakey could only dream of.

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I find it sobering that quite a few subspecies of the genus homo ceased to leave progenie. We know that the Neanderthals and Denisovans interbred with our own subspecies. And we know that the genotype of Otzi, the 12,000 year-old hunter who was found in the Alps over 10 years ago is genetically most similar to the natives of Sardinia. Everyone else in Europe, including the enigmatic Basques, presumably descends from subsequent European “immigrants/invaders.”

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It is grand to be alive while so many discoveries are taking place; if we don't send ourselves back to the Neolithic stage, I wonder what the future will bring?

Many ancient sites of Mesopotamia and Afghanistan have been looted and bombed since daddy Bush illegal war was promoted in 1991....greedy war profiteering gangsters only care about oil & dope preventing mass transit and hydrogen cars in 49 states

@GreenAtheist I remember when Islamic extremists bombed the statue of Buddha. I wept.

Oh, and the ultra Christian owners of Hobby Lobby were guilty of transporting ill gotten relics--they had to give them back.

@Gwendolyn2018 & ISIS & others loot & destroy ancient sites to fund their org.s & just for spite & barbarity! It's heartbreaking!

@phxbillcee All of those sites and artifacts, thousands of years old, gone forever. Truly heartbreaking.

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Fascinating that scientists are uncovering new archaeological sites in Asia and Africa still. They are learning more about intebreeding between the different species of hominems and Neanderthol peoples.

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This has been, and will be, a very controversial issue for a long time. I can see all the Twitter conversations and arguments now lol

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Ooh - I love this stuff... pls keep posting other things you discover.

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