= Primates and Prehistory

 

The Birthplace of Humanity

The people who spread rapidly throughout Eurasia around 50,000 years ago (perhaps a little earlier) came from Africa. Africa (more specifically tropical Africa) had also much earlier been the first home of the bipeds. Unfortunately, for political and historical reasons, far less digging has been done in Africa, so that there is less evidence to judge by. European excavations show a very sudden transition as people displaced the earlier bipeds, but it may be that in Africa the earlier development for our species had been more gradual. Following the normal principles of speciation, it seems probable that people as a species emerged either in Africa or perhaps on an island off the coast of Africa and existed at first in very small numbers. The first stages of this development are not likely to be detected. A number of African finds have suggested to some scholars that people with modern behavioural characteristics did live in various places in Africa considerably earlier, but the subject remains controversial. See Wikipedia article and links from it.