Human ancestors left Africa 2.1 million years ago traveling to Asia

Earlier, the earliest evidence of hominins outside Africa came from Dmanisi, Georgia, 1.85 million years ago. The new evidence found in Shangchen, in the southern Chinese plateau of Loess, pushes this back to 2.1 million years

Ancient tools and bones unearthed in China suggest that our first hominid ancestors left Africa and arrived in Asia 270,000 years earlier than previously thought.

The analysis of 80 recently discovered artifacts reveals that our earliest ancestors colonized East Asia more than two million years ago.

So far, the skeletal remains and tools found in Dmanisi, Georgia, dated 1.85 million years ago, were considered the first evidence of humanity outside of Africa.

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Earlier, the earliest evidence of hominins outside Africa came from Dmanisi, Georgia, 1.85 million years ago. The new evidence found in Shangchen, in the southern Chinese plateau of Loess, pushes this back to 2.1 million years

Earlier, the earliest evidence of hominins outside Africa came from Dmanisi, Georgia, 1.85 million years ago. The new evidence found in Shangchen, in the southern Chinese plateau of Loess, pushes this back to 2.1 million years

Ancient tools and bones discovered in China suggest that human ancestors left Africa and arrived in Asia 270,000 years earlier than previously thought, the analysis of the artifacts has revealed. This image shows three of the oldest artifacts discovered, dating back more than 2.1 million years

Ancient tools and bones discovered in China suggest that human ancestors left Africa and arrived in Asia 270,000 years earlier than previously thought, the analysis of the artifacts has revealed. This image shows three of the oldest artifacts discovered, dating back more than 2.1 million years

Ancient tools and bones discovered in China suggest that human ancestors left Africa and arrived in Asia 270,000 years earlier than previously thought, the analysis of the artifacts has revealed. This image shows three of the oldest artifacts discovered, dating back more than 2.1 million years

The tools were discovered in Shangchen in the south of the Loess Plateau in China by a team led by Professor Zhaoyu Zhu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The 80 artifacts include a notch, scrapers, pavers, hammer stones and pointed pieces. All show signs of use, with the stone intentionally flaked.

Most of the newly found tools were made of quartzite and quartz, which probably came from the foothills of the Qinling Mountains, three to six miles (five to ten kilometers) south of the site, as well as the streams that flow from the range. .

Fragments of animal bones of 2.12 million years were also found.

Professor Robin Dennell of the University of Exeter, who participated in the research, said: "Our discovery means that it is now necessary to reconsider the time when the first humans left Africa."

Sites of ancient hominid presence have been found throughout the world, beginning in Africa about 2.8 million years ago. These have included tools of stone (blue) and fossils (red)

Sites of ancient hominid presence have been found throughout the world, beginning in Africa about 2.8 million years ago. These have included tools of stone (blue) and fossils (red)

Sites of ancient hominid presence have been found throughout the world, beginning in Africa about 2.8 million years ago. These have included tools of stone (blue) and fossils (red)

The tools were discovered in Shangchen in the south of the Loess Plateau in China by a team led by Professor Zhaoyu Zhu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The tools were discovered in Shangchen in the south of the Loess Plateau in China by a team led by Professor Zhaoyu Zhu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The tools were discovered in Shangchen in the south of the Loess Plateau in China by a team led by Professor Zhaoyu Zhu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Chinese Loess plateau covers approximately 105.00 square miles (270,000 square km), and for the last 2.6 million years, between 300 and 1000 feet (100 and 300 m) of dust blown by the wind - known as loess - has been deposited in the area

The Chinese Loess plateau covers approximately 105.00 square miles (270,000 square km), and for the last 2.6 million years, between 300 and 1000 feet (100 and 300 m) of dust blown by the wind - known as loess - has been deposited in the area

The Chinese Loess plateau covers approximately 105.00 square miles (270,000 square km), and for the last 2.6 million years, between 300 and 1000 feet (100 and 300 m) of dust blown by the wind – known as loess – has been deposited in the area

The 80 stone artifacts (one in the photo) were found predominantly in 11 different layers of fossil soils that developed in a warm and humid climate

The 80 stone artifacts (one in the photo) were found predominantly in 11 different layers of fossil soils that developed in a warm and humid climate

The 80 stone artifacts (one in the photo) were found predominantly in 11 different layers of fossil soils that developed in a warm and humid climate

The Chinese Loess Plateau covers an area of ​​105.00 square miles (270,000 square km).

In the last 2.6 million years, deposited in the area between 300 and 1000 feet (100 and 300 meters) of dust blown by the wind, known as loess.

The 80 stone artifacts were found predominantly in 11 different layers of fossil soils, which developed in a warm and humid climate.

Another 16 articles were found in six layers of loes that developed in colder and drier conditions.

These 17 different layers of loess and fossil soils were formed during a period spanning almost one million years.

This shows that the first humans occupied the Loess Plateau in China under very different climatic conditions between 1.2 and 2.12 million years ago.

WHEN FIRST HUMAN ANCESTORS EMERGED?

The timeline of human evolution goes back millions of years. Experts estimate that the family tree is the following:

55 million years ago – First primitive primitives evolve

15 million years ago – Hominids (great apes) evolve from the ancestors of the gibbon

8 million years ago – The first gorillas evolve. Later, chimpanzee and human lineages diverge

A recreation of a Neanderthal man is represented

A recreation of a Neanderthal man is represented

A recreation of a Neanderthal man is represented

5.5 million years ago – Ardipithecus, first features of "protohuman" actions with chimpanzees and gorillas

4 million years ago – Apes like primitive humans, australopithecines appeared. They had brains no bigger than those of a chimpanzee, but other more human characteristics

3.9-2.9 million years ago – Australoipithecus afarensis lived in Africa.

2.7 million years ago – Paranthropus, he lived in forests and had huge jaws to chew

2.3 million years ago – Homo habalis was first thought to have appeared in Africa

1.85 million years ago – Emerges the first hand & # 39; modern & # 39;

1.8 million years ago – Homo ergaster begins to appear in the fossil record

1.6 million years ago – Manual axes become the first great technological innovation

800,000 years ago – The first humans control the fire and create homes. The size of the brain increases rapidly

400,000 years agoor – The Neanderthals begin to appear and spread throughout Europe and Asia

300,000 to 200,000 years ago – Homo sapiens – modern humans – appear in Africa

50,000 to 40,000 years ago – Modern humans arrive in Europe

The loesses containing these stone tools were dated by joining the magnetic properties of the layers with known and dated changes in the magnetic field of the earth.

Before the finding, the earliest evidence of hominids outside Africa came from Dmanisi, Georgia.

In 2009, archaeologists unearthed six ancient skeletons dating back to 1.8 million years ago in the hills of Georgia.

At that time, it was believed that Georgian bones, which include incredibly well-preserved skulls and teeth, were the first humans to be found outside of Africa.

The remains belong to a race of small primitive humans with small primitive brains that walked and ran like modern people.

They were found next to stone tools, remains of animals and plants, suggesting that they hunted and killed meat.

Before the finding, the earliest evidence of hominids outside Africa came from Dmanisi, Georgia. In 2009, archaeologists unearthed six ancient skeletons dating back to 1.8 million years ago in the hills of Georgia.

Before the finding, the earliest evidence of hominids outside Africa came from Dmanisi, Georgia. In 2009, archaeologists unearthed six ancient skeletons dating back to 1.8 million years ago in the hills of Georgia.

Before the finding, the earliest evidence of hominids outside Africa came from Dmanisi, Georgia. In 2009, archaeologists unearthed six ancient skeletons dating back to 1.8 million years ago in the hills of Georgia.

The Georgian bones, which include incredibly well-preserved skulls (in the picture) and teeth, at that time were believed to be the first humans to be found outside of Africa.

The Georgian bones, which include incredibly well-preserved skulls (in the picture) and teeth, at that time were believed to be the first humans to be found outside of Africa.

The Georgian bones, which include incredibly well-preserved skulls (in the picture) and teeth, at that time were believed to be the first humans to be found outside of Africa.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT OUR ANCESTORS?

Four important studies in recent times have changed the way we view our ancestral history.

The Simons Genome Diversity Project

After analyzing the DNA of 142 populations around the world, the researchers concluded that all modern humans living today can trace their ancestry to a single group that emerged in Africa 200,000 years ago.

They also discovered that all non-Africans seem to be descendants of a single group that separated from the ancestors of African hunters about 130,000 years ago.

The study also shows how humans seem to have formed isolated groups within Africa with populations on the continent that are separated from each other.

The KhoeSan in South Africa, for example, separated from the Yoruba in Nigeria about 87,000 years ago, while the Mbuti separated from the Yoruba 56,000 years ago.

The study of the Human Genome Diversity Panel of the Estonian Biocenter

This examined 483 genomes from 148 populations around the world to examine the spread of Homo sapiens outside of Africa.

They discovered that indigenous populations in modern Papua New Guinea owe two percent of their genomes to an extinct group of Homo sapiens.

This suggests that there was a distinct wave of human migration out of Africa about 120,000 years ago.

The Australian Aboriginal study

Using the genomes of 83 Australian aborigines and 25 Papua New Guineans, this study examined the genetic origins of these early Pacific populations.

It is believed that these groups have descended from some of the first humans who left Africa and raised doubts about whether their ancestors belonged to a wave of migration prior to the rest of Eurasia.

The new study found that the ancestors of modern Australian and Papuan aborigines separated from Europeans and Asians some 58,000 years ago after a single migration outside of Africa.

These two populations diverged later about 37,000 years ago, long before the physical separation of Australia and New Guinea about 10,000 years ago.

The Climate Modeling study

Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa used one of the first integrated computer models of climate and human migration to recreate the spread of Homo sapiens over the past 125,000 years.

The model simulates ice age, abrupt climate change and captures the arrival times of Homo sapiens in the eastern Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, southern China and Australia, in close collaboration with paleoclimate reconstructions and fossil and archaeological evidence.

They discovered that modern humans seem to have left Africa 100,000 years ago in a series of slow-moving waves.

They estimate that Homo sapiens first arrived in southern Europe about 80,000 to 90,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought.

The results challenge traditional models that suggest there was a single exodus out of Africa about 60,000 years ago.

The new ancestors, discovered in Dmanisi, were about 60 inches (150 cm) tall, and had brains half the size of modern-day humans.

Prof. David Lordkipanidze, the Director General of the National Museum of Georgia, said at the time: "Before our findings, the prevailing view was that humans left Africa almost a million years ago.

"We also believed that they already had sophisticated stone tools, and that the anatomy of their body was quite advanced in terms of brain capacity and limb proportions.

"But what we are finding is quite different."

He said that Africa was still the undisputed cradle of humanity, but added: "Georgia may have been the birthplace of the first Europeans."

Archaeologists believe that the first true humans, a race of squats people called Homo habilis, evolved in Africa about 2.3 million years ago.

They were followed by a higher athletic species called Homo erectus that migrated from Africa to colonize Europe and Asia.

In 2015, experts claimed to have discovered the common ancestor for all modern humans, Homo sapiens, and their extinct relatives, including Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Neanderthals.

  In 2015, experts claimed to have discovered the common ancestor of all modern humans, Homo sapiens, and their extinct relatives, including Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Neanderthals, through this jaw.

  In 2015, experts claimed to have discovered the common ancestor of all modern humans, Homo sapiens, and their extinct relatives, including Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Neanderthals, through this jaw.

In 2015, experts claimed to have discovered the common ancestor of all modern humans, Homo sapiens, and their extinct relatives, including Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Neanderthals, through this jaw.

It is believed that a partially complete lower jaw (illustrated here from different angles) discovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia belongs to a species that may have been the first member of the Homo family.

It is believed that a partially complete lower jaw (illustrated here from different angles) discovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia belongs to a species that may have been the first member of the Homo family.

It is believed that a partially complete lower jaw (illustrated here from different angles) discovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia belongs to a species that may have been the first member of the Homo family.

It is believed that a partially complete lower jaw, discovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia, belongs to a new species that may have been the first member of the Homo family.

Scientists believe that the fossil, known as LD 350-1, is recognizably human, but it also has more primitive characteristics that suggest it is older than other fossils belonging to the Homo family.

Researchers who have digitally reconstructed the jaws of other ancestral human ancestors say the fossil matches what they would expect from this common ancestor.

The discovery, unearthed in the Ledi-Geraru area of ​​Afar, has put a new date on the appearance of the first & # 39; man & # 39; of our more simian ancestors.

Speaking at the time, Dr. Brian Villmoare, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who helped lead fossil hunters, said: "Despite the large number of searches, fossils in the older Homo lineage that two million years ago are very rare. " .

"Glimpsing the earliest phase of the evolution of our lineage is particularly exciting." LD 350-1 reveals that many of the anatomical patterns we see in 2-million-year-old Homo were established much earlier in the evolution of the genus.

"2.8 million years ago we see relatively evolved Homo traits in combination with other much more primitive anatomical features."

The full findings of the new study were published in the journal Nature.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE TRIP FROM HUMANKIND TO AFRICA?

The traditional view

The traditional "Out of Africa" ​​model suggests that modern humans evolved in Africa and then left in a single wave some 60,000 years ago.

The model is often sustained once modern humans left the continent, there was a brief period of miscegenation with the Neanderthals.

This explains why individuals of European and Asian heritage today still have ancient human DNA.

There are many theories about what led to the fall of the Neanderthals.

Experts have suggested that the first humans may have carried tropical diseases from Africa that annihilated their simian cousins.

Others claim that the plunging temperatures due to climate change annihilated the Neanderthals.

The prevailing theory is that the first humans killed Neanderthals through competition for food and habitat.

How history is changing in the light of new research

Recent findings suggest that the theory & # 39; Outside Africa & # 39; It does not tell the full story of our ancestors.

In contrast, the multiple and smaller movements of humans outside of Africa that began 120,000 years ago were followed by a great migration 60,000 years ago.

Most of our DNA is formed by this last group, but previous migrations, also known as "dispersions", are still evident.

This explains recent studies of early human remains that have been found in the farthest reaches of Asia dating back more than 60,000 years.

For example, the remains of H. sapiens have been found in multiple sites in south and central China dating from between 70,000 and 120,000 years ago.

Other recent findings show that modern humans arrived in Southeast Asia and Australia before 60,000 years ago.

According to these studies, human beings could not have arrived in a single wave from Africa at this time, according to studies.

Instead, the origin of man suggests that modern humans developed in multiple regions around the world.

The theory states that groups of prehuman ancestors left Africa and spread through parts of Europe and the Middle East.

From here, the species developed in modern humans in several places at once.

The argument is based on a new analysis of a 260,000-year-old skull found in Dali County in the Chinese province of Shaanxi.

The skull suggests that the first humans migrated to Asia, where modern human features evolved and then returned to Africa.

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