syrinx

References


ORIGINS

Data for this project was sourced from the Human Evolutionary Genetics Group, University of Oxford. Their research is headed by Christian Capelli, Associate Professor in Human Evolution at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford with PostDoc Researcher Francesco Montinaro, DPhil Students: Cindy Santander, Miguel González-Santos, Ryan Daniels and Visitors Alessandro Raveane and Serena Aneli.

Raw Data for this project can be accessed at:
Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

further reading:
•"A genetic atlas of human admixture history", Hellenthal, G et al, Science (2014)
•"Ancient Admixture in Human History", N. Patterson et al., Genetics 192, 1065–1093 (2012)


DIASPORA | Out of Africa

Unraveling the origins and migratory movements of the first H. sapiens is key to understanding the genetic diversity of modern-day populations. The vast passage of time generates a level of complexity where conflicts are often encountered in the synthesis of paleontological, archaeological, and climatic data. Dates and routes for panels 1 & 2 were sourced from academic publications and papers relying primarily on genetic data, then on archaeological and other supporting documentation to corroborate and fine tune the genetic data. This approach narrows the view to a direct modern human lineage. The earliest H. sapiens fossils found outside of Africa are dated to around 90 – 120,000 years ago at the Levantine sites of Skhul and Qafzeh. A maxilla and associated dentition recently discovered at Misliya Cave, Israel, was dated between 177 – 194,000 years ago, suggesting that members of the Homo sapiens clade left Africa earlier than shown on these diagrams. But those early expansions to Eurasia appear not to have persisted (would have died out without leaving a trace in the genome of contemporary humans). These topologies specifically portray our direct ancestry.

Data and further reading for these topologies can be accessed online at:
Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3 | Link 4 | Link 5 | Link 6 | Link 7 | Link 8 | Link 9

and in the publication:
•"The Stone Age Archaeology of West Africa", Eleanor Scerri, African History, 2017


DIASPORA | The Bone Record

Prehistoric artefacts and bones reveal that Homo sapiens was not the first species to use stone tools, to harness fire, or to ritually bury the dead. Nor were we the first human species to migrate from our homeland.

When our ancestors left Africa they met a new set of 'first cousins' – types of humans far more like us in looks and behaviour than many they left behind. These humans had migrated from the same continent up to two million years earlier. Some contact, and even interbreeding, occurred – we carry genes of Neanderthals and Denisovans in our own DNA. But, ultimately, our success as a species coincided with their extinction—none of our six closest relatives survived contact with us.

This chart plots the migration routes of these pioneering human species alongside Homo sapiens. The vast range of their wanderings suggest that, like us, they were eager explorers, often choosing paths that our own ancestors would follow.

When Homo erectus became extinct some 140,000 years ago, they had been around for nine times longer than we have. It is still unclear why the species eventually died out.

Neanderthals were the most sophisticated of our cousins, and had larger brains than ours. The last of them lived in Malta a mere 24,000 years ago.

The little we know about Denisovans comes from a finger bone fragment of a young female who lived 41,000 years ago in Siberia, along with a few teeth and some artefacts. But a map of the complete Denisovan genome extracted from these fragments has established their place in our family tree.

Data and further reading for this illlustration can be accessed online at:
Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3 | Link 4 | Link 5 | Link 6 | Link 7 | Link 8 | Link 9