April 10, 2016

Nubian assemblages from the Negev

Nubian assemblages from the Levant are quite important because they provide an intermediate link (along land routes) between those from Africa and Arabia. It's also more difficult now to consider the Arabian finds as a limited event without broader implications about modern human dispersals. From the paper:
Mapping the earliest dated sites that contain a Nubian component does not permit an unequivocal identification of a region of origin for the Nubian Technology.
Quaternary International doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2016.02.008

“Diffusion with modifications”: Nubian assemblages in the central Negev highlands of Israel and their implications for Middle Paleolithic inter-regional interactions

Mae Goder-Goldberger, Natalia Gubenko, Erella Hovers

Nubian Levallois cores, now known from sites in eastern Africa, the Nile Valley and Arabia, have been used as a material culture marker for Upper Pleistocene dispersals of hominins out of Africa. The Levantine corridor, being the only land route connecting Africa to Eurasia, has been viewed as a possible dispersal route. We report here on lithic assemblages from the Negev highlands of Israel that contain both Levallois centripetal and Nubian-type cores. Wetter conditions over the Sahara and Negev deserts during MIS 6a–5e provided a generally continuous environmental corridor into the Levant that enabled the dispersal of hominin groups bearing the Nubian variant of prepared core technologies. The Negev assemblages draw renewed attention to the place of the Levant as one of the dispersal routes out of Africa during the Late Pleistocene and could suggest that processes of human dispersals and cultural diffusion resulted in the spread of Nubian technology across eastern Africa, the western Sahara and the Nile Valley, the southern Levant and Arabia.

Link

3 comments:

eurologist said...

Surely very important and adding to evidence for an early origin of AMHs emanating from this general region.

So far, we only have two known / viable options to explain the mixture of lithic assemblages in the Levant (and surrounding regions) during MIS 5: (a) the other early/ ancient humans there were heidelbergensis (Neanderthals did not get there until ~50,000 years later), or (b) the "other" population was a remnant of what let to modern humans in the first place, i.e., a co-evolution in the SE Europe / SW Asia / NE Africa triangle over a ~600,000 year time frame, also enabling sporadic exchange with European Neanderthals (modern mtDNA vs. heidelbergensis ("Denisovans"), and now also a fairly recent date for y-DNA compared to European erectus).

terryt said...

"a co-evolution in the SE Europe / SW Asia / NE Africa triangle over a ~600,000 year time frame"

I have long assumed that to be the case although now we have evidence of Neanderthal Y-chromosome incompatibility and so the matter becomes complicated. The search for the first 'modern' humans is a ridiculous idea. A group of pre-modern humans did not wake up one morning and find they were 'modern'.

Someone (whose name I forget, apologies) posted a link to this paper:

https://www.cshl.edu/news-and-features/neanderthals-mated-with-modern-humans-much-earlier-than-previously-thought-study-finds.html

Basically it offers support to your option b. In fact I think it shows the surviving 'Neanderthal' genes in modern humans derive not from a direct hybrid event between moderns and Neanderthals but a hybrid event between modern humans and modern/Neanderthal hybrids.

Dreami Tom said...

Thank you for this sharing!Nubian Levallois cores, now known from sites in eastern Africa, the Nile Valley and Arabia, have been used as a material culture marker for Upper Pleistocene dispersals of hominins out of Africa. The Levantine corridor, being the only land route connecting Africa to Eurasia, has been viewed as a possible dispersal route. We report here on lithic assemblages from the Negev highlands of Israel that contain both Levallois centripetal and Nubian-type cores.click here