Story 2015-06-02 A8GJ Early humans left Africa through Egypt, not Ethiopia, study says

Early humans left Africa through Egypt, not Ethiopia, study says

in science on (#A8GJ)
When a group of modern humans began their exodus out of Africa, Egypt may have been the last stop. Genetic similarities between Egyptians and Eurasians suggests that Pleistocene emigrants traveled through Egypt. If the route to Eurasia passed through East Africa, Ethiopians should be more genetically similar to Eurasians than Egyptians are. But according to Pagani, the opposite is true.

The “out-of-Africa” theory is the most widely recognized model for the movement of modern humans into Eurasia. It postulates that, at some point after the evolution of the first anatomically modern humans in Africa, there was a large migration out of the continent. Paleoanthropologists estimate that the move occurred between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago, but disagree on whether there was a single exodus or many. The prehistoric travelers, who may have used land bridges and simple rafts to cross, became the first modern human populations in Europe and Asia. (Fossil evidence suggests that Neanderthals already occupied the continent).
Reply 3 comments

Genetic similarities (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2015-06-02 14:29 (#A93K)

If the only evidence they have is the genetic similarities, then I certainly hope they're taking into account Egypt's close location and continual trade (and one presumes, cross-pollination over thousands of years) with the Mediterranean cultures. According to TFA, they "controlled for recent migrations," but does recent take them back 10,000 years? 1,000? 100? They themselves acknowledge the original migrations took place between 125,000 and 60,000 years, so recent is obviously relative. Color me skeptical.

Re: Genetic similarities (Score: 1)

by on 2015-06-02 18:28 (#A9KE)

They pretty much have a 50/50 chance, right? I'd guess they're probably right. They can date specific mutations pretty well, I don't know if I'd risk my life on them being correct, but it sounds like it might be correct. It would be interesting to see their methodology applied against other migrations to see if that also confirms with what archaeology believes.

With any single study, a "that's an interesting result" is a fair response. Let other peers take a look at it and dissect it.

Re: Genetic similarities (Score: 1)

by on 2015-06-02 21:27 (#A9X4)

Seems I borked the automatic language translation system again. I've disabled it for now and will hide these inadvertent double posts.