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No. 24: Nov-Dec 1982

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Africa not man's origin!

The following abstract is from a 1982 paper in Nature.

"It has been suggested that the evolution of man took place in Africa. This suggestion results from the unusual abundance of fossil material in Africa that is quite ancient in comparison with what is known elsewhere. The theory of an African origin has influenced the interpretation of the age of some non-African archaeologial sites. A case in point is the 'Ubeidiya locality in Israel, which is generally considered to be about 700,000 yr old because it has been assumed by a few that the associated Early Acheulian tool industry, and the persons who used it, would have taken considerable time to disperse from Olduvai Gorge to this non-African site in Israel. Here we evaluate fossil mammals from 'Ubeidiya, which are stratigraphically and directly associated with Early Acheulian artifacts, and find no substantial reason for considering the locality younger than 2Myr, and possibly as much as 500,000 yr older than any record of Early Acheulian artefacts or Homo erectus in Africa."

(Repenning, Charles A., and Fejfar, Oldrich; "Evidence for Earlier Date of 'Ubeidiya, Israel, Hominid Site," Nature, 299:344, 1982.)

From Science Frontiers #24, NOV-DEC 1982. 1982-2000 William R. Corliss