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Human Biogeography$
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Alexander Harcourt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520272118

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520272118.001.0001

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Origins and Dispersal

Origins and Dispersal

(p.15) 2 Origins and Dispersal
Human Biogeography

Alexander H. Harcourt

University of California Press

Using anatomical, genetical, and archeological comparisons between peoples from different regions, we can work out when and where humans originated, and when and by what routes we dispersed throughout the world. Thus the great genetical diversity of African peoples and the decreasing genetical diversity the farther we go from Africa indicate our origins in Africa. Archeology and genetics agree on a date of roughly fifty-five thousand years ago for the start of our global spread out of Africa, and a date for our entry from Siberia into the Americas, for instance, of about fifteen thousand years ago. Our global diaspora is also evident in the simultaneous spread of our parasites.

Keywords:   Africa, Americas, archeology, Asia, Australia, Eurasia, extinctions, genetics, Oceania, origins

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