I originally published this information (sections under 2018 Updates) as a webpage back in 2017, and now I am republishing it on my blog given the new scientific discoveries which have been published which lend an ever-greater plausibility and scientific support for my scenario of the origin and migrations of Homo sapiens. Header Image: view of the beautiful Altai Mountains.
UPDATE 2018: "Eurasians can no longer be seen as a subset of Africans, given that they possess genetic variation from Denisovans, a layer of ancestry earlier than all extant AMH (Anatomically Modern Humans). While it is still true that most Eurasian genetic material is a subset of that of modern Africans, it is also true that the deepest known lineage of humans is the Denisovan-Sima de los huesos, with no evidence for any deeper African lineage. Within humans as a whole, Africans possess a subset of Eurasian genetic variation ... I had previously supported a "two deserts" theory of human origins in which AMH originated in North Africa (Sahara) and then left Africa >100kya as evidenced by the Shkul/Qafzeh hominins and/or the Nubian technocomplex in Arabia. While I am still convinced that AMH originated somewhere in North Africa or the Near East, I am less certain as to where." [Dienekes' Anthropology Blog, Out of Africa: a Theory in Crisis, 1/26/18]
UPDATE 7/14/18: The "Out of Africa" theory is dying rapidly before our eyes. "H. erectus has a better record and greater diversity in Eurasia than in Africa in the same time period." [John Hawkes, Reinforcing the Antiquity of Hominins in China]
I believe that my anthropoid primate ancestors first evolved in (climatically tropical) Antarctica during the late Paleocene (to early Eocene) before the breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent [Image 1]. During this period when Gondwana was still together, they then migrated from Antarctica into what is now called India, which was still joined to Antarctica, Madagascar and Africa. Also during this time, there may have been a population split - one group moving into the Horn of Africa and another remaining on the land of the Indian plate.
The group of anthropoid primates which migrated into Africa via the Horn of Africa interbred with other anthropoid primates native to Africa, giving rise the varied species of pre-human hominids we know existed in and were native to Africa (including the Australopithecines and Paleoafricans).
The group of anthropoid primates remaining on the land of the Indian plate evolved into pre-human hominids on the Indian plate, and further into Homo sapiens in Eurasia after the breakup of Gondwana and the Indian plate's eventual collision with Eurasia [ Image 2].
Once the Indian plate collided with Eurasia, early pre-human hominids migrated west (otherwise blocked by the the Himalayan Mountains). I think that the scientific evidence supports that pre-human hominids continued to evolve in the general red area in Image 3, in the areas of Northwestern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan. I believe that this area is home of the source population for archaic hominins ancestral to the Homo sapien lineage.
From this original Eurasian source population evolved archaic Homo sapiens. A group split off (dark brown line) from the original Eurasian source population, moved through the Middle East, through the Sinai and into Africa (at a time when no Red Sea existed - Image 4). In Africa, this archaic Homo sapien group interbred with an archaic hominin group known as the Paleoafricans, an archaic lineage genetically exclusive to Native African lineages and not genetically admixed with any non-African human lineages, and possibly with Homo ergaster (also a lineage exclusive to Africa), becoming a population of Native African Homo sapiens (i.e., Paleoafricans genetically admixed with Homo sapiens who had migrated into Africa during the last glacial maximum).
After the exodus of a group of Homo sapiens out of Eurasia and into Africa, the remaining source population of Eurasian Homo sapiens interbred with Neanderthals (Homo sapien neanderthalensis), becoming Homo sapien-Neanderthal hybrids (a hybridization exclusive to Eurasians, most likely occurring in the regions of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey - regions of ancient Anatolia and the Lesser Caucasus). From this Eurasian source population, another group of archaic humans split off, moving north deeper into European Russia.
Now the Eurasia Homo sapien-Neanderthal hybrids occupied most of the Middle East up through North Central Eurasia.
Eurasian human hybrids had not yet fully differentiated into Europids, Mongolids or Siberians/Amerindians, although genetic clusters were beginning to emerge. In the areas of Western Asia, Georgia and European Russia, in an area covering Central North Eurasia and Eastern Europe, some early Homo sapien-Neanderthal hybrids picked up Denisovan (Homo sapien altaiensis) ancestry (including some of my own ancestors) and possibly Homo erectus georgicus and European Neanderthal admixture. This group became the Europids (and Cro-Magnons as they moved west deeper into Europe).
The remaining population of the Homo sapien-Neanderthal hybrid group (containing a not yet fully differentiated Mongolid and Amerindian genetic cluster) turned east moving deeper into Russia and Asia. This group later split, one group continuing east (orange line) deeper into Eastern Siberia (which would become the Siberian and Amerindian genetic cluster), while the other group turned south (yellow line) into East Asia (becoming the Mongolid genetic cluster which interbred with Homo erectus pekinesis and possibly other hominins indigenous to East Asia). The Himalayan Mountains [Image 5] did not significantly block migration into East Asia from the northeast at this time.
This scenario for the origin and migrations of Homo sapiens fits the newest Chinese model of human origins, fits my own genetic data, and fits what we currently know about population genetic clusters.
"The morphological nature of the last common ancestor (LCA) of chimpanzees/bonobos and humans is a fascinating topic in human evolution. Available evidence suggests that both lineages share a LCA that lived inAfrica ∼ 8–6 Myr. However, the hominoid fossil record of this time period is inadequate" ... indeed it is essentially absent. Science can provide only one archeological find in putative support of the theory that the LCA of humans, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas evolved in Africa - and that find (Chororapithecus abyssinicus) is itself DISPUTED AS BEING A MEMBER OF THE GREAT APE LINEAGE SHARED BY GORILLAS, CHIMPANZEES, BONOBOS AND HUMANS.
Scientists have no reliable and undisputed evidence that the LCA (last common ancestor) shared by humans, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas evolved in Africa. NONE. There are lots and lots of hominid fossils in Africa, but none of them are directly linked to the lineage of Homo sapiens or to the lineage of the LCA shared by Homo sapiens, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas.
"Despite the finds, other researchers are not convinced that the conclusions are correct. Although the teeth are very similar to those of modern gorillas, they could have been shaped by parallel evolution of a genetically different species which consumed similar foods. "It is stretching the evidence to base a time scale for the evolution of the great apes on this new fossil. THESE STRUCTURES APPEAR ON AT LEAST THREE INDEPENDENT LINEAGES OF APES, INCLUDING GORILLAS, and they could relate to a dietary shift rather than indicating a new genetic trait," said Professor Peter Andrews at the Natural History Museum in London, UK, who also added, "but the fossil evidence for the evolution of our closest living relatives, the great apes, is almost non-existent."
Given the relative abundance of hominid fossils found in Africa in parallel with the astounding lack of finding an ancestral link among any these African hominids to the lineage of the LCA shared by gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and humans or to Homo sapiens directly, I think that the scientific evidence at this point overwhelmingly favors and suggests that all we human peeps were firstly Eurasians.
UPDATE 5/22/17 - 7.2 million year old pre-human Graecopithecus freybergi fossils found in Europe place human ancestors in Europe at least as far back as the Messinian Age of the Miocene Epoch of the Neogene Period - in other words, long before the Paleolithic Era or Pleistocene Epoch.
Articles on the new scientific study just published in the journal PLOS One.
"Begun and his colleagues say the fossil could represent the oldest known human ancestor. They further suggest that the fossil means our ancestors diverged from apes in Southern Europe — not Africa. in a pair of reports published Monday in the journal PLOS One, the scientists describe the fossil and the possible savanna environment in which the species lived. The researchers claim that the Eastern Mediterranean could “just as likely” be the location of ape and human diversification, as well as human ancestor origins, as tropical Africa."
"The common lineage of great apes and humans split several hundred thousand earlier than hitherto assumed, according to an international research team headed by Professor Madelaine Böhme from the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tübingen and Professor Nikolai Spassov from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The researchers investigated two fossils of Graecopithecus freybergi with state-of-the-art methods and came to the conclusion that they belong to pre-humans. Their findings, published today in two papers in the journal PLOS ONE, further indicate that the split of the human lineage occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean and not - as customarily assumed - in Africa. Professor David Begun, a University of Toronto paleoanthropologist and co-author of this study, added, "This dating allows us to move the human-chimpanzee split into the Mediterranean area."
Potential hominin affinities of Graecopithecus from the Late Miocene of Europe, PLOS ONE (2017). journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177127
Messinian age and savannah environment of the possible hominin Graecopithecus from Europe, PLOS ONE (2017). journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177347
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-scientists-million-...