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An Asian perspective on early human dispersal from Africa

Nature volume 438, pages 10991104 (22 December 2005) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The past decade has seen the Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil hominin record enriched by the addition of at least ten new taxa, including the Early Pleistocene, small-brained hominins from Dmanisi, Georgia, and the diminutive Late Pleistocene Homo floresiensis from Flores, Indonesia. At the same time, Asia's earliest hominin presence has been extended up to 1.8 Myr ago, hundreds of thousands of years earlier than previously envisaged. Nevertheless, the preferred explanation for the first appearance of hominins outside Africa has remained virtually unchanged. We show here that it is time to develop alternatives to one of palaeoanthropology's most basic paradigms: ‘Out of Africa 1’.

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Acknowledgements

We thank various colleagues for comments on earlier drafts of this paper. R.D. thanks the British Academy for a three-year research professorship for his research into Asian prehistory. This work was supported by an internationalization grant of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4ET, UK

    • Robin Dennell
  2. Department of Archaeology, Leiden University, PO Box 9515, 2300RA Leiden, The Netherlands

    • Wil Roebroeks

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Reprints and permissions information is available at npg.nature.com/reprintsandpermissions. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Wil Roebroeks.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04259

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