Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The earliest modern humans outside Africa: more older than expected

For the last year, more papers have been published suggesting an earlier age for Homo sapiens and an earlier Out of Africa migration. Today I read a paper in Science that pushes our "Out of Africa" event even further back in time (not that I believe in the OOA event) in other words Humans were in Asia long before the date currently accepted for that event (did we originate in Asia and move into Africa?).

This is the paper: The earliest modern humans outside Africa, Israel Hershkovitz et al. Science 26 Jan 2018:Vol. 359, Issue 6374, pp. 456-459 DOI: 10.1126/science.aap8369

And this is the free info (the rest is behind Science magazine's paywall:

Earliest modern humans out of Africa
Recent paleoanthropological studies have suggested that modern humans migrated from Africa as early as the beginning of the Late Pleistocene, 120,000 years ago. Hershkovitz et al. now suggest that early modern humans were already present outside of Africa more than 55,000 years earlier (see the Perspective by Stringer and Galway-Witham). During excavations of sediments at Mount Carmel, Israel, they found a fossil of a mouth part, a left hemimaxilla, with almost complete dentition.
The sediments contain a series of well-defined hearths and a rich stone-based industry, as well as abundant animal remains. Analysis of the human remains, and dating of the site and the fossil itself, indicate a likely age of at least 177,000 years for the fossil—making it the oldest member of the Homo sapiens clade found outside Africa.
Science, this issue p. 456; see also p. 389

To date, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa are dated to around 90,000 to 120,000 years ago at the Levantine sites of Skhul and Qafzeh. A maxilla and associated dentition recently discovered at Misliya Cave, Israel, was dated to 177,000 to 194,000 years ago, suggesting that members of the Homo sapiens clade left Africa earlier than previously thought. This finding changes our view on modern human dispersal and is consistent with recent genetic studies, which have posited the possibility of an earlier dispersal of Homo sapiens around 220,000 years ago. The Misliya maxilla is associated with full-fledged Levallois technology in the Levant, suggesting that the emergence of this technology is linked to the appearance of Homo sapiens in the region, as has been documented in Africa.

End of Science info.

So now we have a date of 177 to 194,000 years BP for humans in the Middle East. Meaning they got there even earlier -or did by chance did the teeth belong to the first arrival?. Now I ask why suppose that the H. sapiens went "OUT" of Africa instead of reaching Israel from some place in Asia and then going "INTO" Africa.

As usual, more discoveries will force change on closed minds

By the way, Happy New Year and a great 2018 for all of you.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2014 by Austin Whittall © 


  1. Bravo for being the first blogger I know to pick this up! Although I disagree with your basic premise that OOA is wrong, the progress of science is based on criticism and thoughtful argument. Therefore I applaud you for offering an alternative viewpoint. Post more often, as your contributions are always worth reading. NeilB

    1. Thanks Neil, we may disagree on the OOA theory, but we both agree on how science works. Thanks for your coment!

  2. Have a great 2018 you too!... another very interesting post!
    I could have access to the paper…the diagnosis of this hemimaxilla is carefully explained, and places it well within H. sapiens parameters,…while 3 different dating methods; Th/U, Th/U coupled with ESR (electron spin resonance) and TL (thermoluminiscense) yielding consistent results, solidly ages this remain at 177-194 Ky….therefore conforming a “hard evidence” that in Asia lived modern Homo at least as old as their supposed oldest African ancestors from Ethiopia (Omo I, Omo II and Herto, dated at 160-195 Ky).
    Out of Africa´s supposed validity to explain origin/dispersal of modern human has relied (since decades) precisely on the appreciable gap between oldest ages of African and non African H. sapiens…argument that has now been clearly removed.
    With respect to your last paragraph,” …Why suppose that the H. sapiens went OUT of Africa instead of reaching Israel from some place in Asia and then going INTO Africa…”, my modest opinion is that;
    Unless new discoveries of older H sapiens appear in Africa, …I think Misliya Cave findings, by itself, could perfectly make OOA to tumble to the ground…because there is little room to consider other aspects in order to keep alive this model, such as;…”the dispersal event could have taken place at 220 Ky, according to genetic studies” (??),…but up to now, there are no properly certified ancestors older enough to support this, and/or… the remains belonged to an individual from “the very first” groups to exit from Africa” (which could be theoretically possible….but ????).
    So, OOA has another important flaw, which adds to previously existing complaints against its validity ( treated in detail in different entries of your blog).
    I agree with you that is time to seriously consider the feasibility of an Asian origin of our oldest ancestors…and going further, perhaps is possible some sort of multiregional evolution of modern human, firmly based in H erectus evolution/dispersal in Asia… and why not?, also with an important role played by America in the entire process…
    Of course, any of these speculations need to be supported with more archaeological findings.

  3. Have you seen this on the oldest DNA from Morocco? May strengthen your argument.

    1. Thanks Neal. Well, the oldest H.sapiens identified is from Morocco. But... the Middle Eastern link is interesting. What if H. sapiens came from Asia (M.East) and entered both Europe and North Africa with the microlith technology. In Africa they admixed with Africans of course. This hypothesis is congruent with the paper you mention.

  4. Yes, although, I fundamentally disagree with you, on the origin of Homo sapiens being outside Africa, this indication of direction of migration is highly suggestive of a MUCH more complex picture of human dispersion and origin. Your quotations of John Hawks in the post above this one, on the Misliya jawbone: "I don’t think the traditional framing of “out of Africa” is very effective anymore" AND "How many ancestral populations gave rise to the growing population of modern humans after 100,000 years ago? How many African-derived people were involved in mixture with Neandertals 250,000 years ago, or 120,000 years ago? Did African-derived humans make it to China, or to Java, before 100,000 years ago?
    Those are open questions, with some evidence pointing toward faster, more widespread dispersal, more mixture, and repeated genetic replacements." is suggestive that even the 'Big Guns' of paleontology are beginning to think in wider terms about human origins!
    We live in interesting times. NeilB


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