Thursday, January 27, 2011

Humans Left Africa Earlier, During Ice Age Heat Wave

Humans Left Africa Earlier, During Ice Age Heat Wave

A warm spell during the Ice Age gave early humans a route out of Africa 20,000 years earlier than thought, say scientists who've uncovered a prehistoric tool kit in Arabia.

A period of climate change about 130,000 years ago would have made water travel easier by lowering sea levels and creating navigable lakes and rivers in the Arabian Peninsula, the study says.

Such a shift would have offered early modern humans—which arose in Africa about 200,000 years ago—a new route through the formerly parched northern deserts into the Middle East.

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