HUMANPAST.NET

Evolution                  60,000 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)

Africa

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.

Some of the strongest fossil-bone evidence of anatomically modern Homo sapiens has been collected at the mouth of the Klasies River. A cave there was occupied by early human hunters between 60,000 and 120,000 years ago. (75)

Between their appearance in Africa more than 100,000 years ago until about 50,000 years ago, or even a bit later, the archaeological record does not evidence a quantum leap to modern-looking cultural behavior. Although these ancient, moodern-looking people may have looked just like us, their artifacts do not reflect that they thought like us. Only after 50,000 years ago, in the period called the Upper Paleolithic in Europe and Asia and the Late Stone Age in Africa, do we see what appears in the archaeological record to be an intellectual leap forward.  (170)

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.

...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. (146)

Egypt

 

Indus Valley

 

China

 ...regression studies (using mtDNA) show all modern humans appear to be genetically related possibly as far back as 230,000 years. Africans (the oldest) are considered to have been clearly well established between 130,000 and 80,000 BC. The next oldest seems to be Caucasoid, Middle-Eastern types, dating from about 100,000 years ago. The next oldest are believed to have been Central Asians dating between 73,000 and 56,000 BC. (113)

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.

Even the Basques themselves are an unsolved enigma. Tall and strong, they have all of the characteristics of the Cro-Maqnon people who emerged suddenly about 65,000 years ago, while the lesser Neanderthal man continued to exist for a while longer. (141)

South America

 

Mesoamerica

 

North America

 

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)