15 December 2011

It’s a puzzle for us clever homo sapiens sapiens. How did we get from our original home in Africa to Camborne?

This was long before there were metalled roads or railways or Channel ferries; before there was even a Channel. Our migrating ancestors failed to pass on memories of savannah life so that until very recently we had no knowledge of where we started from; or at any rate the memories did not survive long. That’s another puzzle. They remembered arks and floods and gods and minotaurs, but not lions in the tall grass.

I think we might now be able to pinpoint a stopping off place on the human trek to the corners of the world.

Tool discoveries in Oman suggest that when some of us left Africa we went to the Arabian Peninsula, then rich grasslands. This was about 100 000 years ago and gives an earlier than usual date for leaving Africa. I think these early travellers were probably not the people who eventually trekked into Europe.

Read the research article here (ROSE Jeffrey I et al (2011) ‘The Nubian Complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age Industry in Southern Arabia’ in PLOS ONE) and a good account here.