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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Telegraph: Europe was the birthplace of mankind, not Africa, scientists find

This is an interesting story from the Telegraph with important info, but even if the direct ancestor of the first hominids or the genus homo did live in Europe, it doesn't mean they only lived in Europe. The part of Europe in question, the Mediterranean, was as much a part of Africa as it was a part of Eurasia at the time. The direct ancestor of this species, named Graecopithecus, came to the  Mediterranean from Africa, and the ancestor of all higher primates arose in Africa before it ever reconnected with Eurasia. Finally, if Graecopithecus indeed evolved into the Genus Homo, it did so outside of Europe and developed the Mode 2 lithic technology, which some consider a benchmark of being "Homo," before reentering Europe half a million years later.

So Europe played a transient role at best during a particular climactic period. For most of human evolution Europe was a backwater, and I would bet good money that either Graecopithecus or a sibling species lived in Asia Minor at the same time as the European version.  We don't have all of the data because Asia Minor is notoriously bad at preserving fossils.

Europe was the birthplace of mankind, not Africa, scientists find

The history of human evolution has been rewritten after scientists discovered that Europe was the birthplace of mankind, not Africa. 
Currently, most experts believe that our human lineage split from apes around seven million years ago in central Africa, where hominids remained for the next five million years before venturing further afield.
But two fossils of an ape-like creature which had human-like teeth have been found in Bulgaria and Greece, dating to 7.2 million years ago.


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