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Chapter 6

Chapter 6

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University of Toronto St. George
Michael Chazan

Chapter 6 The Peopling of Australia and the New World 61 Modern Humans in East AsiaPopulations of Homo erectus arrived on Indonesian Island of Java as early as 18 million years ago and by 500000 years ago Homo erectus was well established in China Multiregional hypothesislocal East Asian evolution of modern humans from Homo erectus in parallel with the evolution of modern humans in AfricaOut of Africa hypothesisin East Asia populations of Homo erectus persisted until they were replaced by modern humans from AfricaElectron spin resonance and uranium series dating of animal teeth found with Homo erectus fossils at the site of Ngandong have produced dates that range between 46000 and 27000 years agoshows Homo erectus populations remained in East Asia much longer than anywhere elsein the world supports the Out of Africa theory Ngandongon island of Java most recent known fossil of Homo erectus from this site 62 AustraliaDuring periods of low sea level Australia Tasmania an New Guinea were linked in a landmass known as Sahul and much of southeast Asia was connected to form a landmass known as Sundra Sundra and Sahul were separated by the Wallace LineWallace line separates the unique animals and plants of Australia from those of southeast AsiaFound stone tools on the island of Flores in Wallacea suggesting Homo erectus were able to cross the water tools dated between 800000 and 900000 years agobones of an elephant and large rat have also been found from that time period so could also be that the sea level was low and there were favourable currents to help them reach the island Fossils found on Flores show humans to be very tiny species name is Homo floresiensisbody size was quite small brain size 380 cc size of a grapefruit could be the result of longterm isolation of a population of Homo erectus for a long time Dating the Earliest Human OccupationArrival of humans in Australia predates arrival of modern humans in Europe over 10000 yearsNauwalabila Iearliest evidence for human occupation of Australia dated between 53000 and 60000 years agoremains from the lowest levels are mostly flake stone tools including a thick retouched scraper and grinding stones Lake Mungoin Australia initial human occupation here is dated to between 50000 and 46000 years agotwo humans burials animal bones many hearths and numerous stone tools discovered here simple flake tools and cores similar to Nauwalabila ICurrent data suggests human occupation of Australia was roughly 60000 years ago and that the spread of humans across the continent was rapid suggests they were capable of sea voyages
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