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Title: A new perspective on the origin of Homo sapiens
Authors: Bermúdez de Castro, José María
Carbonell, Eudald
Keywords: Homo sapiens;Neanderthals;Pleistocene;Southwest asia;Levantine corridor
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: Historical Biology, 2022, 34(8), 1331-1336
Abstract: In this paper, we critically review the current paradigm, which places the origin of Homo sapiens in Africa as the result of the evolution of a Middle Pleistocene species. In the African fossil record of this period, it is not possible to find a transition from fossils not included in H. sapiens to those that are clearly related to our species and that lack exclusive Neanderthal traits. Genetic studies have confirmed the existence of a common ancestor for both H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis, who lived at the end of the Early Pleistocene or during the Middle Pleistocene. The origin of this ancestor should be located either in Africa or in Europe, the hypothetical home of anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals, respectively. However, the fossil record of both continents lacks evidence for this population split. In contrast, southwest Asia, and in particular the Levantine Corridor, shows a variability in the fossil record compatible with the possibility that the origin of the divergence between both species could have occurred in this region. To understand this evolutionary scenario, we explore the possibility of transit through the Levantine Corridor during the Pleistocene using palaeoclimatic data published in recent years.
ISSN: 1029-2381
DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2021.1949306
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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