Monday, June 10, 2024

Out of Africa - The Story of Human Migration

map showing where the earliest human fossils have been discovered
History Maps has created an interactive map showing the locations of the earliest human fossils found around the world. Early Homo Sapiens Fossil Sites uses data from Wikipedia's List of human evolution fossils to show the locations of the earliest 'notable finds of hominin fossils and remains relating to human evolution'.

The fossil sites shown on the map can be filtered using the timeline control in the map menu. The oldest fossils found on the map were discovered at Jebel Irhoud in Morocco. The fossils have been dated to 'roughly 300,000 years ago'. The next earliest human fossils shown on the map date from around 260,000 years ago. These were found in Florisbad, South Africa.

If you want to learn more about any of individual fossil sites shown on the map you have to follow the links in the map menu, where the fossil discoveries are shown in chronological order.

animated map showing the journey of early humans out of Africa to the rest of the world
In Africa, between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago, archaic Homo sapiens evolved into anatomically modern humans. Around 60,000 years ago humans started to spread to the rest of the world, possibly by crossing the Red Sea into the Arabian Peninsula. You can follow that journey for yourself on the Human Odyssey Map.

The California Academy of Science's Human Odyssey Map plots the possible paths taken by humans out of Africa and the role that the climate played in those migratory routes. The map includes a timeline control which allows you to trace the routes that the human race took over thousands of years to populate the rest of the world. As you progress through the timeline flow-lines show the routes taken by the human race, while the map itself shows the climate conditions which existed at the time and which impacted on the routes that humans took in traveling to the rest of the world.

No comments: