- Jul 11, 2018 at 11:28 pm #3546463
Robert MeurantBPL Member
Scientists say they’ve found the earliest known evidence of a human presence outside Africa.
BBC News : Paul Rincon : Science and Environment : 12 July 2018
Stone tools discovered in China suggest primitive humans – or a close relative – were in the region as early as 2.12 million years ago. They are about 270,000 years older than the previous earliest evidence, which consists of bones and tools from Dmanisi in Georgia. The research, by a Chinese-British team, appears in the journal Nature.
The stone artefacts were discovered at Shangchen on a plateau in northern China. They comprise different types of stone tools constructed for a variety of purposes. All show signs of having been used. Most were made of quartzite and quartz rock that probably came from the foothills of the Qinling Mountains, five to 10 km to the south of the dig site. But we don’t know for sure which species of human relative made them.
Why does it matter? …
What prompted humans to leave Africa? …
Could we find even earlier evidence outside Africa? …
Did climate change have a role in this? …
Does this have anything to do with the Indonesian “Hobbit”? …
Source paper in Nature:
Hominin occupation of the Chinese Loess Plateau since about 2.1 million years ago
Zhaoyu Zhu, Robin Dennell, Weiwen Huang, Yi Wu, Shifan Qiu, Shixia Yang, Zhiguo Rao, Yamei Hou, Jiubing Xie, Jiangwei Han & Tingping Ouyang.
Fig. 4 | Selected artefacts found in situ in layers S27–L28 (2.09–2.12 Ma), L27 (1.95–2.09 Ma), L25 (1.73–1.80 Ma) and S23 (1.59–1.65 Ma) from the Shangchen Palaeolithic locality.Jul 12, 2018 at 12:19 pm #3546515
Robert MeurantBPL Member
I’d really like to build up a better understanding of the human settlement of Asia between these very early discoveries and more recent times, up to and including the near (global) extinction event of 67 or 70 thousand years ago, which supposedly reduced Earth’s population to about 2,000 (according to genetic research). I have no problem with the date of the first human presence (in Asia) being pushed back further and further, though the evidence is scanty. On the evidence of the technology of a single adz (IIRC), there has been previous speculation of human presence on the Korean Peninsula (maybe 20 miles north of here, at Jeongok) of about 350,000 years ago. It now starts to look more feasible. Paleolithic times fascinate me. These people must have been extremely hardy; the winters here are viciously cold.
Northern style, Gochang.Southern style, Hwasoon.
More recently, there were Neolithic settlements of two kinds here, the dolmen builders, of the Northern and Southern style. Korea has many dolmen; though the ancestors of modern Koreans may have displaced (eliminated) those people, rather than assimilated them. The Southern dolmen builders arrived by boat from SE Asia, maybe around Taiwan (?); the Northern arrived overland from Mongolia or eastern Russia, I think, possibly eastern China. There are even ties between the later tomb builders of southeastern Korea and Japan, e.g. the keyhole style mounds, as in Saitobaru, Kyushu, and throughout Japan. Some of the burial practices included entombing the dead in huge earthen jars.
Gwangju National Museum, Gwangju
Jar coffin from Yongdam-dong site
Jeju Island as a Case Study in Ancient Island-Mainland Interaction
Barbara Seyock, Bulletin of the Society for East Asian Archaeology Vol. 2 (2008)
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Robert Meurant.
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