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<< 300 Kyr | 2 Ma-10000 BCE | 160 Kyr >>

§Dawn of Mankind

Mitochondrial genetic research has pinpointed a theoretical mitochondrial Eve 150,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa. At 195kya Omo1, Omo2 (Ethiopia, Omo river) are the earliest fossil evidence for archaic Homo sapiens, evolved from Homo heidelbergensis. The Khoi and San people in South Africa, appear to have diverged from other people between 90,000 and 150,000 years ago.

Research by Eran Elhaik from the University of Sheffield, using phylogenetics, dates modern humans (or the modern male y chromosome) to just over 200,000 years ago.

This contradicts a March 2013 study from Arizona Research Labs at the University of Arizona, which found that the human Y chromosome (the hereditary factor determining male sex) originated through interbreeding among species and dates back to about 338,000 years ago.


Upper Paleolithic Neanderthals (approximately 130,000 to 45,000) - Upper Paleolithic Neanderthals sites include: Krapina, Saccopastore, Malarnaud, Altamura, Gánovce, Denisova, Okladnikov, Pech de l'Azé, Tabun, Kebara, Régourdou, Mt. Circeo, La Ferrassie, Combe Grenal, La Chapelle, Amud, Shanidar, Teshik-Tash, and Feldhofer.

223,000 - 100,000 BC

The earliest evidence of Hominids, such as Neanderthals and even Homo heidelbergensis, deliberately disposing of deceased individuals usually in funerary caches. The graves, located throughout Eurasia (e.g. the Pontnewydd Cave, Atapuerca Mountains, Qafzeh, Es Skhul, Krapina), are believed to represent the beginnings of ceremonial rites, although there is some debate about this. Neanderthals placed their deceased in simple graves with little or no concern for grave goods or markers; however, their graves occasionally appeared with limestone blocks in or on them, possibly an archaic form of grave marking. These practices were possibly the result of empathetic feelings towards fellow tribespeople, for example: an infant buried in the Dederiyeh Cave after its joints had disarticulated was placed with concern for the correct anatomical arrangement of its body parts.

§Homo neanderthalensis and homo sapiens

200,000 years ago it is believed that both Neanderthals (homo neanderthalensis) and modern humans (homo sapiens) existed. Speculatively they came from a common ancestor, perhaps homo heidelbergensis or homo antecessor, if indeed these two are not actually the same species. It is very possible that both homo neanderthalensis and homo sapiens emerged much earlier than this date.

It's also believed that about this time there was an early migration of modern humans out of Africa where they began mating with Neanderthals in Siberia. This early wave went East rather than into modern Europe.

Fossil records have shown that homo neanderthalensis existed in Europe and western Asia while homo sapiens emerged in Africa. It is believed that these two species would not have encountered each other in Europe until the homo sapiens migrated from Africa into the Neanderthal range possibly around 150,000 years later, or about 60,000 years ago.


Eastern Africa experienced a series of severe droughts between 135,000 and 90,000 years ago.


There are modern human fossils dating to 195,000 years ago at Omo Kibish.

§South Africa

200000 BCE - It is speculated that the Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens split from a common ancestor about this time. DNA research in 2008 indicated that shortly after this time Homo Sapiens split into 2 groups. Most people in 2008 represented one group, while the bushmen of southern Africa represented the other.

H. naledi remains, likely between 236,000 and 335,000 years old, (another date is 912 kya) found in the Rising Star cave system (also known as Westminster or Empire cave) which is located in the Malmani dolomites, in Bloubank River valley, about 800 meters (0.50 miles; 2,600 feet) southwest of Swartkrans, part of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa. This species has many human-like characteristics, such as a foot similar to modern humans, but the upper body was more ape-like.



Homo erectus was believed to be a wandering hunter, and began traveling far beyond African origins. Evidence of Homo erectus was found in China and is known as "Peking man". Homo erectus was believed to have lived in this area from 600,000 BCE to 200,000 BCE.



Neanderthals lived in England about 230,000 years before the present.

Continuous human habitation dates to around 11,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period


A hominid finger bone found in a cave in the Logudoro region was dated up to 250,000 BCE.

§Middle East


Archaeologists have named the earliest inhabitants of the area Mousterian Neanderthals. They have been estimated to date to about 200,000 BCE.

§Central Asia


Stone implements found in the Tian Shan mountains indicate the presence of human society in what is now Kyrgyzstan as many as 200,000 to 300,000 years ago

§North America

Woolly mammoths roamed the Earth starting 200,000 years ago.



People lived in the area that today constitutes Denmark more than 200,000 years ago, the only traces of these early humans are stone tools found in Vejstrup forest in Jutland.

§South Pacific


Scientists believe that from the period around 400,000 BCE giant marsupials, kangaroos and wombats, roamed the outback. They went extinct around 50,000 BCE coincident with the arrival of humans on the continent.

§New Zealand

Taupo Volcanic Zone is a highly active volcanic V shaped area located in the central region of the North Island of New Zealand. It was here about 254,000 years ago that Whakamaru erupted.


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