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11Apr

Out of Africa

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 | Did you know? | 0 comment | 11 April 2011 - 17:02:16

tags  Out of Africa

It has been known that Homo sapiens traveled out of Africa across the Sinai Peninsula, north of the Red Sea, settling in modern-day Israel, about 120,000 years ago. New findings suggest a separate group of Homo sapiens may have migrated out of Africa across the southern Arabian Peninsula even earlier. Stone tools dating between 125,000 and 90,000 years ago have been found at the site of Jebel Faya in the United Arab Emirates. The tools found at this site appear to be manufactured by techniques used by Homo sapiens in East Africa and Northeast Africa. Blades created with the bifacial flaking technique, where pieces of stone are removed from both the top and bottom faces to form the blade, have been found. Another tool called a "foliate" has also been found at the site. These types of instruments have not been found in the early settlements of Homo sapiens to the north of the site.

It is believed that environmental factors were crucial in the migrations of Homo sapiens. From 200,000 to 135,000 years ago, the Arabian Peninsula was very dry, serving as a barrier, preventing Homo sapiens migration. However, between 135,000 and 120,000 years ago, low water level of the Red Sea would have made crossing to the Arabian Peninsula possible. The wetter conditions and mild climate would also have made the peninsula an appealing location to settle. It is believed that the climate of the Arabian Peninsula again became drier around 90,000 years ago. The Homo sapiens settled in Jebel Faya and surrounding areas may have returned to Africa at that time as a result of the less hospitable climate.

It has been known that Homo sapiens traveled out of Africa across the Sinai Peninsula, north of the Red Sea, settling in modern-day Israel, about 120,000 years ago. New findings suggest a separate group of Homo sapiens may have migrated out of Africa across the southern Arabian Peninsula even earlier. Stone tools dating between 125,000 and 90,000 years ago have been found at the site of Jebel Faya in the United Arab Emirates. The tools found at this site appear to be manufactured by techniques used by Homo sapiens in East Africa and Northeast Africa. Blades created with the bifacial flaking technique, where pieces of stone are removed from both the top and bottom faces to form the blade, have been found. Another tool called a "foliate" has also been found at the site. These types of instruments have not been found in the early settlements of Homo sapiens to the north of the site.

It is believed that environmental factors were crucial in the migrations of Homo sapiens. From 200,000 to 135,000 years ago, the Arabian Peninsula was very dry, serving as a barrier, preventing Homo sapiens migration. However, between 135,000 and 120,000 years ago, low water level of the Red Sea would have made crossing to the Arabian Peninsula possible. The wetter conditions and mild climate would also have made the peninsula an appealing location to settle. It is believed that the climate of the Arabian Peninsula again became drier around 90,000 years ago. The Homo sapiens settled in Jebel Faya and surrounding areas may have returned to Africa at that time as a result of the less hospitable climate.

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