September 13, 2013

Chronology of Ksar Akil

PLoS ONE 8(9): e72931. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072931

Chronology of Ksar Akil (Lebanon) and Implications for the Colonization of Europe by Anatomically Modern Humans

Katerina Douka et al.

The Out-of-Africa model holds that anatomically modern humans (AMH) evolved and dispersed from Africa into Asia, and later Europe. Palaeoanthropological evidence from the Near East assumes great importance, but AMH remains from the region are extremely scarce. ‘Egbert’, a now-lost AMH fossil from the key site of Ksar Akil (Lebanon) and ‘Ethelruda’, a recently re-discovered fragmentary maxilla from the same site, are two rare examples where human fossils are directly linked with early Upper Palaeolithic archaeological assemblages. Here we radiocarbon date the contexts from which Egbert and Ethelruda were recovered, as well as the levels above and below the findspots. In the absence of well-preserved organic materials, we primarily used marine shell beads, often regarded as indicative of behavioural modernity. Bayesian modelling allows for the construction of a chronostratigraphic framework for Ksar Akil, which supports several conclusions. The model-generated age estimates place Egbert between 40.8–39.2 ka cal BP (68.2% prob.) and Ethelruda between 42.4–41.7 ka cal BP (68.2% prob.). This indicates that Egbert is of an age comparable to that of the oldest directly-dated European AMH (Peştera cu Oase). Ethelruda is older, but on current estimates not older than the modern human teeth from Cavallo in Italy. The dating of the so-called “transitional” or Initial Upper Palaeolithic layers of the site may indicate that the passage from the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic at Ksar Akil, and possibly in the wider northern Levant, occurred later than previously estimated, casting some doubts on the assumed singular role of the region as a locus for human dispersals into Europe. Finally, tentative interpretations of the fossil's taxonomy, combined with the chronometric dating of Ethelruda's context, provides evidence that the transitional/IUP industries of Europe and the Levant, or at least some of them, may be the result of early modern human migration(s).



eurologist said...

Why does the author link dates of ~40 kya to ooA? These are roughly the same dates as for Europe, incl. Russia, and should be most easily related to the near-simultaneous expansions in and from Asia.

IIRC, the Levant finds are slightly earlier, ~50 kya.

Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Well I don't find the closeness in the dates so strange. From 1492 to 1992 the New Word went from no Western Europeans to half a billion of them spread over two continents. When conditions are right it just does not take modern humans long to get around. And the first half of that period was pretty much without mechanized transportation.

Wil said...

Directly dated human remains.

"of an age comparable to that of the oldest directly-dated European AMH"

Wil said...

"of an age comparable to that of the oldest directly-dated European AMH" via "radiocarbon date".

Not OOA but colonization of Europe, or did I read it wrong?

barakobama said...

what about 42,000 year old flue and half man half lion statue in south Germany.

Also what about 41,500-44,00 year old human jaw in Wales so they probably arrived in Europe much earlier. Humans specifically Caucasians from the mid east arrived in Europe over 50,000 years ago i get sick of the conservative. dates. They didn't just spawn from Mid east to wales it took thousands of years of undirect migrations.

When u look at globe13 aust dna the only group to orignate in Europe and is dominet in 7,000ybp Mesloithic European sample is called North Euro. It's ancestral form defintley arrived in PAleoithic europe. Also it is the only trace we have of Paleoithic Europeans. The guy who was dominted by it in Spain had mtDNa U5b2c1 U5 the oldest mtDNA haplogroup in Europe deifntley has been here for over 40,000 years. Also U5b2 is popular in Paleoithic samples and mtDNA U was dominte in PAleoithic and Mesloithic samples.

The mtDNA U dominted hunter gathers of Europe who are suppose to have arrived over 40,000ybp maybe th earliest probably are the source of north Eurp in globe13. So what this tells us is very early settlers in Europe probably arroved over 30,000ybp are the main ancestors of modern Europeans. and their brother group is called west asian which can give an idea of were in the mid east they orignated. West asian is over 50% in the Caucus, and around 40-45% from Antolia, north and central Iraq-Pakistan. It decreases as u go south intp Syria then really goes down as i get into Arabia and north Africa.

The source of that Paleoithic European group the one that has the only sruviving blooodline and is dominte in Modern Europeans. Most likley came from Caucus, Antolia, Iraq-Iran really the north west border of Europe and mid east which makes total sense. But that is only when u look at the distrubtation of its brother west asian. It would not have been one family that migrated to Europe but a mix of a much of related families which cold explain multiple mtDNA haplogroups.