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Early human migration

The topic for this week is: சென்றடைந்தோம் எட்டுத்திக்கும் – செய்ததென்ன? -

The short answer to this question is “We survived!“. Let’s go about elaborating this - beginning with the end in mind.

Humans have a unique accomplishment to be proud about. We are the only set of species who have conquered almost most part of Earth. From being a budding species(Homo sapiens) in a region in Africa almost 200,000 years back to the exponentially growing population now, we have come a long way!

This is something we all have been tutored about from our early school days.

Apart from natural selection, this image gives us a lot of details about our ancestors. Something that is interesting about this image is the evolution of skull(apart from being able to walk straight)

And the natural parallel evolution was the brain.

These homo species is said to have migrated to all parts of the world.

What took them so long to migrate or what in homo species made it possible to migrate?

  • Modern body shape
  • Developed intelligence to cope up with environmental challenges
  • Ability to develop tools that helped them survive
  • Meat-based diet that helped them survive in extreme conditions

When studying about these species, we come across the famous Out of Africa theory. Homo sapiens have said to have evolved from Homo erectus but the migration maps show that they migrated across the East Asia region.

To make visualizations easier, let’s take a look at Flinstones:

Ice age did a decent job in bringing these different homo species to the visual medium:

Theories like Out of Africa were proposed with the current world map in mind. If we were to juxtaposition these inferences with the ancient world maps that we are familiar with, we will end up with the following:

And a closer more familiar map:

No wonder Homo erectus is commonly called Java man

This Lemurian connection has been proven through recent excavations. Attirampakkam is one of the key Paleolithic archeology sites in Tamil Nadu. Excavations at this site have revealed information about homo Erectus tools and pre-historic evidence.

Scientists tried to track the lineage using the Y-Chromosome markers and the results are:

Connecting all these, we literally spread and conquered in all 8 directions. What did we do - EVOLVE and SURVIVE!

On a lighter note, this post almost makes it obvious why Paleo diet is something that might never work with modern humans unless we get a lot of exercise hunting!