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As Graham Hancock would say, things just keep getting older.
A new study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution by an international team led by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, in Germany, pushes the date of human migration out of Africa further still.
Stone tools discovered in the Arabian Peninsula suggest that an ancient human species occupied the region as early as 500,000 years ago.
Image: Tools and bone fragments from an ancient lake-bed were studied and dated effectively changing history, suggesting humans migrated out of Africa sooner than previously thought. Image Credit: Paleodeserts Project, Ian R. Cartwright.
Scientists have recently found that early hominids moved to new areas, out of Africa, 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Scientists have also discovered that first, early human migrations out of Africa were not as hard as experts believed before.
Furthermore, the initial migration out of the continent and into the Arabian Peninsula has been found to be the result of a range expansion of our early ancestors.
Previously, scholars thought that migration was driven by adaptations of early humans who had become better suited to the unexplored regions. But the latest study claims that our ancestors were not driven by their adaptations, but by their need to expand and occupy new territory.
Experts indicate that this migration was much easier for un ancestors thanks to the abundance of grassland and different types of vegetation in the Arabian Peninsula more than half a million years ago.
History Books tell us that human ancestors migrated out of the African continent in waves, traveling via modern-day Egypt and the middle east, eventually reaching the Arabian Peninsula.
During this time, it is believed that the Homo Sapiens species—early humans—was beginning to distinguish itself from its more primitive ancestor.
However, experts have had a hard time finding conclusive evidence of this period of time because of the harsh and barren landscape.
But despite this, ancient lakebeds in the northern Saudi Arabian Nefud Desert are giving up some of the Peninsula’s secrets, helping experts unravel the mysteries of human migration.
Now, scientists from the Max Plank Institute for the science of Human History have discovered stone tools and cut-marks on fossil animal remains on the archaeological site of Ti’s al Ghadah.
According to scientists, this has offered conclusive evidence for Hominids in Saudi Arabia at least 100,000 years before previously thought.
Stable isotope data discovered that the dispersal of our early ancestors occurred to range expansion and was not the result of new adaptations to new environments.
“Ti’s al Ghadah is one of the most important paleontological sites in the Arabian Peninsula and it currently represents the only dated collection of middle Pleistocene fossil animals in this part of the world,” explained co-author Mathew Stewart, from the University of New South Wales in Australia.
So far, experts have recovered Herbivore bones – most likely from ancient oryx – beneath a lakebed at Ti’s al Ghadah. The bones date back between 500,000 and 300,000 years ago.
However, in addition to the bones, scientists also recovered stone tools, suggesting that early humans occupied that part of the Arabian Peninsula at the time, effectively pushing back the date of early humans on the Arabian Peninsula by at least 100,000 years.
Scientists still can’t say for sure what species created the recently recovered tools.
“We’re still in the dark as to what species it could have been,” says Stewart.
However, as the researcher explains, given the dates of the animal remains, it was likely a species that predated Homo sapiens.