Early Human Migrations

human migrationEarly human migration began when the Homo Sapiens first migrated out of Africa over the Levantine corridor and Horn of Africa to Eurasia about 1.8 million years ago. The expansion of H. erectus out of Africa was followed by that of H. antecessor into Europe around 800,000 years ago, followed by H. heidelbergensis around 600,000 years ago, who was the likely ancestor of both Modern Humans and Neanderthals. The ancestors of the human species H. sapiens evolved into Modern Humans (i.e. our current day subspecies H. sapiens sapiens) around 200,000 years ago, in Africa.

Migrations out of Africa occurred some time later. Around 125,000 years ago Modern Humans reached the Near East from where they later spread across Asia and Europe. From the Near East, these populations spread east to South Asia by 50,000 years ago, and on to Australia by 40,000 years ago, when for the first time H. sapiens reached territory never reached by H. erectus. H. sapiens reached Europe around 43,000 years ago, eventually replacing the Neanderthal population. East Asia was reached by 30,000 years ago.

The date of migration to North America is disputed; it may have taken place around 30 thousand years ago, or considerably later, around 14 thousand years ago. Colonization of the Pacific islands of Polynesia began around 1300 BCE, and was completed by 900 CE. The ancestors of Polynesians left Taiwan around 5,200 years ago.

The study of early human migrations since the 1980s has developed significantly due to advances in archaeogenetics. Via Early human migrations

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