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Going East: New Genetic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Modern Human Colonization of Eurasia

Science
11 Aug 2006
Vol 313, Issue 5788
pp. 796-800

Abstract

The pattern of dispersal of biologically and behaviorally modern human populations from their African origins to the rest of the occupied world between ∼60,000 and 40,000 years ago is at present a topic of lively debate, centering principally on the issue of single versus multiple dispersals. Here I argue that the archaeological and genetic evidence points to a single successful dispersal event, which took genetically and culturally modern populations fairly rapidly across southern and southeastern Asia into Australasia, and with only a secondary and later dispersal into Europe.

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I thank P. Forster, T. Kivisild, P. Endicott, P. Underhill, F. Balloux, C. Tyler-Smith, R. Foley, M. Lahr, M. Petraglia, H. James, S. Jones, J. Koshy, L. Raddatz, S. Oppenheimer, S. Ambrose, A. Marks, C. Henshilwood, C. Marean, O. Bar-Yosef, P. Van Peer, P. Vermeersch, I. Davidson, G. Barker, and T. Reynolds for discussion of points raised in the paper, and D. Kemp for assistance with the illustrations. Research funds were provided by the British Academy and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

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Science
Volume 313 | Issue 5788
11 August 2006

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Published in print: 11 August 2006

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Paul Mellars
Department of Archaeology, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK.

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