An early modern human presence in Sumatra 73,000-63,000 years ago

Westaway, K. E., Louys, J., Awe, R. Due, Morwood, M. J., Price, G. J., Zhao, J. -X., Aubert, M., Joannes-Boyau, R., Smith, T. M., Skinner, M. M., Compton, T., Bailey, R. M., van den Bergh, G. D., de Vos, J., Pike, A. W. G. ., Stringer, C., Saptomo, E. W., Rizal, Y., Zaim, J., Santoso, W. D., Trihascaryo, A., Kinsley, L. and Sulistyanto, B. (2017) An early modern human presence in Sumatra 73,000-63,000 years ago. Nature, 548 7667: 322-325. doi:10.1038/nature23452

Author Westaway, K. E.
Louys, J.
Awe, R. Due
Morwood, M. J.
Price, G. J.
Zhao, J. -X.
Aubert, M.
Joannes-Boyau, R.
Smith, T. M.
Skinner, M. M.
Compton, T.
Bailey, R. M.
van den Bergh, G. D.
de Vos, J.
Pike, A. W. G. .
Stringer, C.
Saptomo, E. W.
Rizal, Y.
Zaim, J.
Santoso, W. D.
Trihascaryo, A.
Kinsley, L.
Sulistyanto, B.
Title An early modern human presence in Sumatra 73,000-63,000 years ago
Journal name Nature   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1476-4687
Publication date 2017-08-09
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nature23452
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 548
Issue 7667
Start page 322
End page 325
Total pages 4
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 1000 General
Abstract Genetic evidence for anatomically modern humans (AMH) out of Africa before 75 thousand years ago (ka) and in island southeast Asia (ISEA) before 60 ka (93-61 ka) predates accepted archaeological records of occupation in the region. Claims that AMH arrived in ISEA before 60 ka (ref. 4) have been supported only by equivocal or non-skeletal evidence. AMH evidence from this period is rare and lacks robust chronologies owing to a lack of direct dating applications, poor preservation and/or excavation strategies and questionable taxonomic identifications. Lida Ajer is a Sumatran Pleistocene cave with a rich rainforest fauna associated with fossil human teeth. The importance of the site is unclear owing to unsupported taxonomic identification of these fossils and uncertainties regarding the age of the deposit, therefore it is rarely considered in models of human dispersal. Here we reinvestigate Lida Ajer to identify the teeth confidently and establish a robust chronology using an integrated dating approach. Using enamel-dentine junction morphology, enamel thickness and comparative morphology, we show that the teeth are unequivocally AMH. Luminescence and uranium-series techniques applied to bone-bearing sediments and speleothems, and coupled uranium-series and electron spin resonance dating of mammalian teeth, place modern humans in Sumatra between 73 and 63 ka. This age is consistent with biostratigraphic estimations, palaeoclimate and sea-level reconstructions, and genetic evidence for a pre-60 ka arrival of AMH into ISEA. Lida Ajer represents, to our knowledge, the earliest evidence of rainforest occupation by AMH, and underscores the importance of reassessing the timing and environmental context of the dispersal of modern humans out of Africa.
Keyword Regenerative-Dose Protocol
Enamel Thickness
Tooth Enamel
Lower Molars
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID DP1093049
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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