It has long been held by evolutionary experts that the original ancestors of humanity were found in Africa, but new research is suggesting that early examples of the genus Homo – we are the Homo Sapiens variety – might well ave actually evolved in Asia before journeying to Africa, not,as many scientists have assumed in the past, the other way round.
Paleoanthropologists have long favored an African origin option, especially for the evolution of our human ancestor Homo erectus, thoughthe latest finds reveal that these ‘people’ lived at Dmansi, a West Asian site between1.85 and 1.77 million years ago, quite possibly a little sooner in time than the earliest African so far discovered.
Geologist of the University of North Texas in Denton, Reid Ferring states that thesenew discoveries point to Homo Erectus having an Asian homeland, the Dmanisi site repeatedly occupied for 80,000 or so years, with a well established and probably quite mobile population.
The long-standing, but now discounted view a small-brained hominid, Homo Habilis, which first appeared in East Africa 2.4 million years ago, was the forerunner to the Homo Erectus genre, as fossil finds in recent times revealed that the two species co-existed for hundreds of thousands of years, the suspicion now being that an as-yet-unidentified African homo genre somehow got to Asia before evolving into the homo Erectus Genre
The fact that these discoveries came from just below earth that, previously, had yielded Homo Erectus fossils 1.77-millionyears old, including small brain-case skulls, suggestive of an earlier form of the same genre of Homo, the excavations also unearthing 73 stone tools and 34 bone fragments from unidentified animals. .
It is because of the technique of making measurements of reversals, in the magnetic field and of the earth, and rate of decay of argon volcanic ash layers, that such accurate estimates of age for the new finds could be made.
Whilst it would seem that humanity as a whole did indeed originate on the African continent, the branch of the evolutionary tree from which our own descendants grew may well have been oriental in nature. Perhaps, deep down, we are all distantly Asian instead of African. The Chinese must be delighted at that thought.