Chapter

Origins and Dispersal

Alexander H. Harcourt

in Human Biogeography

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780520272118
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951778 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520272118.003.0002
Origins and Dispersal

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Using anatomical, genetical, and archeological comparisons between peoples from different regions, we can work out when and where humans originated, and when and by what routes we dispersed throughout the world. Thus the great genetical diversity of African peoples and the decreasing genetical diversity the farther we go from Africa indicate our origins in Africa. Archeology and genetics agree on a date of roughly fifty-five thousand years ago for the start of our global spread out of Africa, and a date for our entry from Siberia into the Americas, for instance, of about fifteen thousand years ago. Our global diaspora is also evident in the simultaneous spread of our parasites.

Keywords: Africa; Americas; archeology; Asia; Australia; Eurasia; extinctions; genetics; Oceania; origins

Chapter.  14387 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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