Before Farming

On the origin of modern humans in China

Before Farming (2010), 2010, (4), 1–6.

Abstract

The Recent Out of Africa Hypothesis (ROAH) has been prevalent for more than 20 years, but no valid explanation of its incompatibility with the fossil hominin record of east Asia has yet been provided. Several metrical and non-metrical features indicate obvious differences between eastern and western Eurasia in human populations earlier than AMHs (anatomically modern humans), which cannot be explained by the ROAH. Similarly, the fact that many disparities exist between Africa and east Asia is more likely due to regional continuity instead of genetic drift. The alleged ‘missing link’ in the east Asian fossil sequence does not exist. The morphological features shown in some hominid remains in China may imply inheritance from Neanderthals whose easternmost range was South Siberia, close to Shuidonggou in north west China, which made it geographically possible for them to interbreed with east Asian indigenous peoples. Moreover, the Palaeolithic tradition in China was consistently Mode I until the late Pleistocene and is quite different from that of Africa and Europe where the Palaeolithic developed from Mode I through Mode V. What happened in east Asia might be very different from Europe where the genetic contribution of Neanderthals was small, and they were mainly replaced by immigrant H. sapiens. Modern humans of East Asia might be mainly derived from the indigenous population, but also absorbed genetic contributions from other parts of the world.

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Wu, Xinzhi

Cui, Yaming