Stone Age tools uncovered in Yemen point to humans leaving Africa and inhabiting
Arabia perhaps as far back as 63,000 years ago, according to Anne Delagnes of Université Bordeaux. The archaeologists have been studying the site of Shi’bat Dihya located in a wadi, or gully, that connects Yemen’s highlands to the coastal plains of the Red Sea.
The age of the site puts it at a time when early modern humans were thought to be first emigrating from Eastern Africa to the rest of the world. “The Arabian Peninsula is routinely considered as the corridor where migrating East African populations would have passed during a single or multiple dispersal events,” says the study. “It has also been suggested that the groups who colonized South Asia rapidly expanded from South and East Africa along the Arabian coastlines around 60 ka BP (60,000 years ago), bringing with them a modern behavioural package including microlithic (stone) backed tools, ostrich-eggshell beads or engraved fragments. However, this scenario is not supported by any hard archaeological evidence from the Arabian Peninsula. Up until recently, the absence of stratified contexts (archaeological sites) from the entirety of the region has rendered issues concerning the timing and trajectories of the earliest expansions of modern humans into the region largely theoretical.”
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