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UNIT 3: Human Migrations

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VIDEO SEGMENT: Out of Africa

Where and how did human migration begin? This segment explores the scientific, archaeological, and linguistic evidence scholars have used to answer this question.

Most scholars now agree that evidence overwhelmingly points to the African origins of humanity. All of the oldest human fossils have been found in Africa, and genetic studies of our own species (Homo sapiens) have shown that modern peoples all over the world are genetically related to modern Africans. Archaeological findings have shown that Homo sapiens began moving out of Africa into Eurasia between 70,000 and 140,000 years ago, probably because of environmental changes brought about during an Ice Age.

Scholars believe that this period of migration coincided with the use of spoken language, and that this ability — combined with increasingly sophisticated social organization and tool-making capabilities — was an important factor in Homo sapiens' successful adaptation to a variety of environments.

SELECTED IMAGES AND MAPS


L. S. B. Leakey Trust, AUSTRALOPITHECUS BOISEI (n.d.). Courtesy of the Leakey Foundation.

Hot Pepper Studios, created for Bridging World History, MAP OF SITES OF DISCOVERY OF HOMO ERECTUS BONES (2004). Courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting.


Klebba, CAVE PAINTINGS AT ZUUR VLAKTE (1962). Courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, Africa Focus.

Anonymous, CAVE ART WITH STAG AND REINDEER FOUND IN LASCAUX, DORDOGNE, FRANCE (n.d.). Copyright 2003 Oregon Public Broadcasting and its licensors. All rights reserved.



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