-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Modern humans first left
Africa much earlier than previously believed, new research
An ancient human toolkit with hand axes, scrapers and
perforators resembling those crafted by early humans in east Africa
-- but not the Middle East -- was found in the United Arab
Emirates, the researchers said. Noting that the toolkit dates back
100,000 to 125,000 years, researchers said the finding indicates
that humans could have arrived on the Arabian Peninsula directly
from Africa rather than via the Nile Valley or the Near East, as
has previously been suggested.
Most evidence has suggested that modern humans left Africa via
the Mediterranean Sea or along the Arabian coast about 60,000 years
The new report is published in the Jan. 28 issue of the journal
"These 'anatomically modern' humans -- like you and me -- had evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago and subsequently populated the rest of the world. Our findings should stimulate a re-evaluation of the means by which we modern humans became a global species," lead author Simon Armitage, of the University of London, said in a news release from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Armitage and colleagues noted that the Arabian Peninsula was
much wetter 125,000 years ago, with greater amounts of vegetation
and a network of lakes and rivers. This type of environment would
have enabled early modern humans to journey into and through Arabia
and then into the Fertile Crescent and India, they added.
The American Museum of Natural History has more about
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