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Out of Africa Theory

Stage 4- Ancient WorldOverview

Evidence suggests that human beings (Homo sapiens) all over the world originated in Africa during the Old Stone Age (150,000 BCE).

Just like us
Evidence available is in the form of Fossils and DNA. These humans were just like us with the same physical and mental capacity as modern humans, and the ability to adapt to any environment on Earth.

Why migrate out of Africa? When climatic conditions changed and affected the abundance of plants and animals, Homo sapiens reacted by moving on. They were able to adapt to harsh climates and by the end of the Ice Age (15,000 BCE) the migration was complete.

Where did they go ?

- Europe - Asia - the Americas - New Guinea (by canoes and rafts) - Australia (by canoes and rafts) Antarctica remained untouched.

Evidence of human migration

- Numerous archeological sites across the world such as Lake Mungo - caves, rocks, cliff shelters , open campsites and middens These allow archaeologists to estimate when humans arrived in the areas they are found.

Recent Evidence
Advances in the study of human physiology means we can now learn about migration patterns by comparing the DNA from fossils to modern humans.

Homo neanderthalensis vs Homo sapiens

When the early humans migrated to Europe and Asia, they found that there were already another type of person there- Neanderthals.

Differences between early humans and neanderthals

Neadnerthals had a low, sloping forehead, prominent brow ridge, a heavy jutting jaw, little chin, broad shoulders, extremely muscular, short and strong legs and broad strong feet. See next slide

Neanderthals were not able to survive the onslaught of early humans and died out as a species by 24 000 BCE- it is not known why.

Homo sapiens- The modern species of humans (look like us). Migration- The movement of people from one area to another.

Old Stone Age- The period defined by the use of very basic stone tools to help Homo sapiens to survive.

Ice Age- a period of history when huge ice sheets covered much of northern Europe and North America, between 35,000 and 12,000 years ago.

Climate- The weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period.

Middens- a heap or mound of refuse containing shells, animal bones and other items that indicate a site of prehistoric settlement.

Archeologist- An anthropologist (type of historian/scientist ) who studies prehistoric people and culture.

Physiology- study of the working of the human body.

Neanderthals- an extinct species of early human that existed up to 30 000 years ago