HUMANPAST.NET

Evolution                  30,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

In General

The multiple ways in which Homo spaiens diverged physically and behaviorally from pre-sapiens forms of Homo in the period between about 300,000 years ago to 30,000 years ago are collectively referred to as the "Middle/Upper Paleolithic transition." This "transition" is visible in many radical changes, such as (1) an increase of average human brain size from about 1,000 to about 1,400 cubic centimeters; (2) changes in physical form such that modern Homo sapiens sapiens have less robust skeletons, a more prominent chin, smaller or absent brow ridges, smaller teeth, a higher rounded skull, and other physical characteristics; (3) increased human population numbers and densities.(18)

Over much of the world human teeth have become smaller during the past 30,000 years and some subtle changes in other aspects of our form and physiology have occurred, but not much about us physically is different from the people of 30,0000 years ago. Human brain size was slightly larger for some of the people at that time, but it is unlikely that they were of a fundamentally different mentality.(24)

In the Upper Palaeolithic, around 35 to 30 kya, we numbered a mere few hundred thousand mortals. This number may have fluctuated dramatically through the LGM and then started to rise during the emergence from the ice age. By 10 kya the numbers had risen to around five million. The coming of agriculture and growth of civilisations led to a rise to around 100 to 150 million people by 2.5 kya. (145)

...suddenly and inexplicably, some 35,000 years ago, a new race of Men--Homo sapiens ("thinking Man")­-appeared as if from nowhere, and swept Neanderthal Man from the face of Earth. These modern Men--named CroMagnan--looked so much like us that, if dressed like us in modern clothes, they would be lost in the crowds of any European or American city. (146)

25,000 BC Last Neanderthals die out (160)

Africa

We can see traces of our origins in all of the earth's ancient life forms, from the earliest marine creatures through the tree-shrews that lived tens of millions of years ago to our last primate ancestors--but only in the crucial interval of two to one million years ago did our genus, Homo, become become the dominanat primate in the world, and not until just a few hundred thousand years ago did humans appear whom we can relate to ourselves by calling them, too, Homo sapiens. We reserve the ultimate accolade of "people like us," Homo sapiens sapiens, for only some of the humans who lived after about 150,000 years ago, and it was not until about 30,000 years ago that we alone came to constitute humanity.(9)

About all scholars agree on is that: (1) there were humans living in Europe and western Asia by 500,000 years ago but they were not Homo sapiens spaiens; (2) a distinctive form of human, the "Neanerthals," who were different from us in important anatomical ways, lived in Europe, western Asia, and perhaps North Africa between about 100,000 and 40,000 years ago; and (3) by 30,000 years ago all the Neanderthals and other distinctive physical forms of humans, except ourselves, Homo sapiens sapiens, had disappeared.

Southwest Asia

 About all scholars agree on is that: (1) there were humans living in Europe and western Asia by 500,000 years ago but they were not Homo sapiens spaiens; (2) a distinctive form of human, the "Neanerthals," who were different from us in important anatomical ways, lived in Europe, western Asia, and perhaps North Africa between about 100,000 and 40,000 years ago; and (3) by 30,000 years ago all the Neanderthals and other distinctive physical forms of humans, except ourselves, Homo sapiens sapiens, had disappeared.

One hypothetical history from the medical field provides a time- line for our four major blood types. The dominant and oldest, Type O is associated with meat eaters. Type A is assumed to have appeared 115,000 to 25,000 years ago somewhere in Asia or the Middle East. Associated with cultivated grains and other agricultural crops, its highest percentages are among Western Europeans and their descendants. (113)

Shanidar Cave in the Kurdish mountains of what is now northern Iraq: occupied by Neanderthal man c.50,000 years ago to 46,000 years ago; occupied by anatomically modern Upper Palaeolithic humans around 34,000 years ago; occupied by Mesolithic peoples around 11,000 years ago. (124)

...the hill lands of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, are replete with caves where the evidence of prehistoric but modern Man has been preserved. One of these caves, Shanidar, is located in the north-eastern part of the semiarc of civilization. As layer upon layer of debris was removed, it became apparent that the cave preserved a clear record of Man's habitation in the area from about 100,000 to some 13,000 years ago. Man's culture has shown not a progression but a regression. Starting from a certain standard, the following generations showed not more advanced but less advanced standards of civilized life. And from about 27,000 BC to 11,000 BC, the regressing and dwindling population reached the point of an almost complete absence of habitation. (146)

Egypt

 

Indus Valley

 

China

 One hypothetical history from the medical field provides a time- line for our four major blood types. The dominant and oldest, Type O is associated with meat eaters. Type A is assumed to have appeared 115,000 to 25,000 years ago somewhere in Asia or the Middle East. Associated with cultivated grains and other agricultural crops, its highest percentages are among Western Europeans and their descendants. (113)

One of the most remarkable features of the last ice age is the success of living on the plains of Russia. While northwestern Europe became uninhabitable during the LGM, in Russia occupation of a number of sites from the River Don to eastern Siberia appears to have continued unabated. By between 35 and 30 kya they had spread into the region beyond Lake Baikal (known as Transbaikal) and the Mongolian Gobi, and they were in northwestern China by 25 kya. (145)

Europe

 About all scholars agree on is that: (1) there were humans living in Europe and western Asia by 500,000 years ago but they were not Homo sapiens spaiens; (2) a distinctive form of human, the "Neanerthals," who were different from us in important anatomical ways, lived in Europe, western Asia, and perhaps North Africa between about 100,000 and 40,000 years ago; and (3) by 30,000 years ago all the Neanderthals and other distinctive physical forms of humans, except ourselves, Homo sapiens sapiens, had disappeared.

Named from the site of Aurignac, in the Pyrenees, where it was first discovered, the earliest society of Cro-Magnon is known as Aurignacian. Their culture lasted from forty thousand to twenty-eight thousand years ago and was a geographically widespread phenomenon. It spanned lands from Spain (the Santander region) to South Wales, with concentrations in the High Danube region of Germany and Austria, and the Moravian region of Slovakia. In France, they occupied small valleys in the Dordogne around Les Eyzies-de-Tayac and in the piedmonts of the Pyrenees. (70)

The most recent transition human fossils (Cro-Magnon subspecies) have been discovered in France (27,000 BC). (113)

A 1997 DNA study of Neanderthal remains (using a small amount of mtDNA) concluded modern humans are not direct descendants from Neanderthals. However, other researchers, examining 25,000 year-old fossil remains from Spain, believe Neanderthals were able to interbreed with Cro-Magnons and produce hybrids. (113)

People had moved into subarctic Siberia when it was warmer, between about 30,000 and 20,000 years ago, with most of the known sites dating from 24,000 to 20,000 B.P., just before the last glacial maximum (or LGM). There they developed the techniques to make a living in cold desert-steppe landscape. After that period, traces of people are not found; they all appear to have moved south again when the far north became uninhabitable. (130)

More than 80% of European men have inherited their Y chromosomes from Palaeolithic ancestors who lived in Europe 25 to 40 kya. Only 20% of Europeans trace their Y-chromosome ancestry to Neolithic farmers who moved in from the Middle East. They linked two early migrations recorded by the Y chromosome to the Aurignacian and Gravettian cultures. (145)

South America

  …geneticists, by tracing the DNA patterns found in people throughout the world, have now identified lineages descended from 10 sons of a genetic Adam and 18 daughters of Eve. Of the A through D lineages found in American Indians, A, C and D also occur in Siberian peoples, suggesting that their ancestors were the principal source of the Amerind-speakers' migration. But the B lineage, though it is found elsewhere in Asia, has not turned up in Siberia, a hint that the B people may have taken a sea route to the Americas and then merged there with their A- , C- and D-carrying cousins. (109)

Mesoamerica 

…geneticists, by tracing the DNA patterns found in people throughout the world, have now identified lineages descended from 10 sons of a genetic Adam and 18 daughters of Eve. Of the A through D lineages found in American Indians, A, C and D also occur in Siberian peoples, suggesting that their ancestors were the principal source of the Amerind-speakers' migration. But the B lineage, though it is found elsewhere in Asia, has not turned up in Siberia, a hint that the B people may have taken a sea route to the Americas and then merged there with their A- , C- and D-carrying cousins. (109)

The date of the first entry of humans into the area that would become Mesoamerica is unknown, but chronometric ages of greater than 20,000 years have been reported for materials associated with artifacts at Tlapacoya, Mexico, and Cualapan Puebla. Even earlier dates of more than 30,000 years ago are reported for an occupation at El Cedral, San Luis Potosi, and a for a human skeleton from Chimalhuacan, Mexico. (159)

North America 

…geneticists, by tracing the DNA patterns found in people throughout the world, have now identified lineages descended from 10 sons of a genetic Adam and 18 daughters of Eve. Of the A through D lineages found in American Indians, A, C and D also occur in Siberian peoples, suggesting that their ancestors were the principal source of the Amerind-speakers' migration. But the B lineage, though it is found elsewhere in Asia, has not turned up in Siberia, a hint that the B people may have taken a sea route to the Americas and then merged there with their A- , C- and D-carrying cousins. (109)

In 1998, Dr. Wallace and his colleagues discovered the X pattern, a rare European lineage, among the northern Native Americans such as the Ojibwa and Sioux. At first they assumed it came from intermarriage with modern Europeans. But the American X lineage turned out to be pre-Columbian and its owners would have arrived in America either 15,000 or 30,000 years ago, depending on certain genetic assumptions. The European X lineage seems to have originated in Western Asia around 40,000 years ago. Dr. Wallace suggests a part of this group may have made their way to America via Siberia, even though no traces of the X-lineage have yet turned up in eastern Asia. A trans-Atlantic route is a possible alternative. (109)

Pigmies, Australoids and Mongols from north-east Siberia, of whom the principal stock was Mongol, had begun to settle in America sometime about 25000 BC, moving south along its coast and across the plains. That occupation was still continuing, doubtless with some people returning in the fifth and fourth millennium BC when earth-worshipping sailors from the Mediterranean and then sea-peoples from India, trading and prospecting the Pacific and the Pacific coast of China for metals, were either blown unwillingly from north of Japan to America or they heard of the movement to those sea-girt continents and, following it, themselves also discovered America. The genius of America remained however, the genius of its already mixed American-Indian populations. (135)

...mtDNA profiling by Douglas Wallace's group of Native Americans living in the Great Lakes region shows the existence of a fifth genetic lineage. This form (X) only exists amongst Europeans and is not present in East Asians. The data suggest that this haplogroup arrived in the Americas either 12 to 17 kya or 23 to 36 kya. (145)

Stone implements dating to 25,000 BC have been identified by Canadian researchers in the Old Crow Basin in the Yukon Territory of Alaska. In South America (as far south as Peru and Tierra del Fuego) human remains and artefacts have been found which have been reliably dated to 12,000 BC - with another group between 19,000 BC and 23,000 BC. With this and other evidence taken into account, 'a very reasonable conclusion on the peopling of the Americas is that it began at least 35,000 years ago, but may well have included waves of immigrants at later dates too.' (152)

Other

 Between 60,000 and 30,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Australian Aborigines somehow managed to cross at least a few kilometers of open ocean to reach Australia. And while it is possible that an occasional boat of fisherfolk was shipwrecked on the New Guinea-Australia coast, computer simulations that take into account normal fertility rates and the genetic diversity of modern populations suggest that more than just a boatload or two of colonists founded that area's present aboriginal population. Two distinct groups of ancient people have been found there, which scholars believe indicate colonization by two different groups, one more robust type, 50,000 years ago, the other a more gracile people, before 20,000 years ago.(24)

Farther east, there is evidence that modern humans had lived in Japan from about 30 kya, based on dating their flint tools. All four main Japanese islands were connected, and the southern island of Kyushu was connected to the Korean peninsula while the northern island of Hokkaido was linked to Siberia. These people appear to have survived the ice age and then around 12 kya developed a unique culture, which lasted for several thousand years. Their culture is known as 'Jomon', which means 'cord pattern', to describe the design of the pottery that these people produced - the earliest in human history. What is remarkable is that the Jomon were still a hunting, gathering and fishing society, living in small groups, when they developed this advanced technology. Furthermore, they also fashioned ceramic figurines. (145)