East of Eden: founder effects and the archaeological signature of modern human dispersal

Clarkson, Christopher (2014). East of Eden: founder effects and the archaeological signature of modern human dispersal. In Robin Dennell and Martin Porr (Ed.), Southern Asia, Australia, and the search for human origins (pp. 76-89) New York, United States: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139084741.007

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Author Clarkson, Christopher
Title of chapter East of Eden: founder effects and the archaeological signature of modern human dispersal
Title of book Southern Asia, Australia, and the search for human origins
Place of Publication New York, United States
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.1017/CBO9781139084741.007
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781107017856
Editor Robin Dennell
Martin Porr
Chapter number 7
Start page 76
End page 89
Total pages 14
Total chapters 20
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The archaeological signature for the first arrival of modern humans in Europe has been a focus of intensive research and for certain regions is now relatively well understood. The archaeological signature for modern human arrival in Arabia, India and much of Asia, on the other hand, is much debated despite the fact that genetic research provides a temporal window for colonisation of 60–75 thousand years ago (kya) (Oppenheimer 2009, 2012b, this volume; Sun et al. 2006; Rasmussen et al. 2011). Indeed, the issue of modern human colonisation east of Africa is emerging as one of the most important and hotly debated topics in Palaeolithic studies (Appenzeller 2012; Balter 2010). Unresolved questions include the exit route from Africa (e.g., Nile corridor or Horn of Africa), the date at which modern humans arrived in each region, the speed at which they dispersed, the alterations to subsistence and technology required at each step of the journey and the extent of cultural and biological interaction between hominin species encountered en route (Beyin 2006; Field & Lahr 2005; Foley & Lahr 1997; Petraglia et al. 2010; Peer 1998; Vermeersch 2001). Such questions are unanswered, and vast lacunae exist in the archaeological records of regions such as Arabia, India and Southeast Asia. The story of modern human spread and cultural change east of Africa therefore remains poorly sketched, and major challenges lie ahead in fleshing out this crucial period in human evolution.

Recent analyses of modern and ancient human DNA have made important inroads into solving this puzzle, documenting relationships between populations, approximate ages for branching events, likely dispersal pathways, and inter-species admixture and even identifying hitherto unknown species (e.g., Green et al. 2010; Liu et al. 2006; Oppenheimer 2009, 2012b; Rasmussen et al. 2011; Reich et al. 2011). Unfortunately, genetics research cannot yet provide precise dates for branching events or locate the geographic nodes at which such events took place.
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Document type: Book Chapter
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Created: Wed, 19 Mar 2014, 13:11:48 EST by Chris Clarkson on behalf of School of Social Science