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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

All Homo Hominids Abandoned Africa 1.4 million years ago?

I have been trying to find some evidence of homo activity in Africa after 1.4 million years ago, when homo ergaster disappears from the fossil record. Homo fossils don't show up there again until 1 million years ago, and then only at one site in east africa, and the fossil is attributed to homo erectus (Daka).
It's another 300k years until Ternifine in North Africa, also a Homo Erectus. Another 100 k after that until Bodo man, also a homo erectus with some archaic traits.
From these facts, it looks to me like around 1.4 million years ago, homo habilis went extinct and homo ergaster either abandoned Africa or went extinct with it. Homo antecessor appears around 1.2 million years ago and is more similar to ergaster than to erectus so I would opt for the former explanation for ergaster's disappearance, and it would not be so surprising because of the Saharan pump theory. Africa was getting dry and the desert areas grw enormous, so lots of animals were leaving during this time.
Surprisingly, it's hard to find out much about this. It's just not mentioned very much, in text books and in arheological websites. It seems the mainstreamers would rather us believe that there was continuous habitation of Africa from ergaster to archaic homo sapien all throught the pleistocene.
I'm sure many people would say that it was occupied, we just haven't found fossils yet. Or that the heat made it less possible for fossils to remain preserved. The problem with that is, south east asia and India were teaming with homo erectus during these times when Africa is yielding nothing, not only evidenced by fossils but also with Acheullian remains.
If there was anyone in Africa between 1.4 million years ago and 700,000 years ago, besides that short visit from Daka man circa 1 million, Daka 1 million years ago...then where are the Acheullian tools?
I've been searching for hours, but have only found this in wikipedia:

"H. ergaster is believed to have diverged from the lineage of H. habilis between 1.9 and 1.8 million years ago; the lineage that emigrated Africa and fathered H. erectus diverged from the lineage of H. ergaster almost immediately after this. These early descendants of H. ergaster may have been discovered in Dmanisi, Georgia.[8] H. ergaster remained stable for ca. 500,000 years in Africa before disappearing from the fossil record around 1.4 million years ago. No identifiable cause has been attributed to this disappearance; the later evolution of the similar H. heidelbergensis in Africa may indicate that this is simply a hole in the record, or that some intermediate species has not yet been discovered."

This is the only place I can even find a writer pointing out or admittiong that there's a hole in the fossil record of Africa, and the possible explanation they give is laughable. Possible Paleothic hominid sites in Africa have been dug, redug, and dug again, more than those of any other continent in the world.
History writers continually glass over the anomoly when describing the Acheullian industry; virtually every texts says that Acheullian started 1.6 million years ago in afric and quickly spread all the way to India. It was formerly thought not to have been present in East and South-east Asia but new finds in China and elsewhere have disproven that. It didn't reach Europe until 400. 000 years ago...or possibly 700,000 if you count a site in Spain. It persisted in India until 120, 000 years ago.
It's like they are glossing over one mentions that it disappeared in Africa 1.4 million years ago and then only re-emerged at a later date before giving way to Upper Paleo industried...but obviously that is exactly what happened.

The implications of this seem very big to me. It explains alot about the migrations of homo and the appearance of homo heidelbergensis, and gives me answers that I've been struggling with for a long time. I'm just wondering if anyone has noticed this "hole" and thinks it's significant.

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