1. Out-of-Africa Dates Pushed Back?
Did this dispersal happen in a single wave or multiple waves? When did modern humans first reach the subcontinent from Africa?
On 1 February, a study published in the journal Nature reported discovery of tools from the Middle Palaeolithic (2,00,000 to 40,000 years ago) at a prehistoric site, Attirampakkam near Chennai.
Archaeologist Shanti Pappu and her team from Sharma Centre for Heritage Education analysed close to 7,200 artefacts from between 3,85,000 and 1,72,000 years ago, and found traces of an advanced tool-making culture existing in India – well before the 140,000-year mark – at which a wave of migration from Africa was thought to have brought these technologies to India.
The artefacts suggest the possibility of ancient human species in India using similar techniques to those found in Africa prior to their migration out.
The treasure trove could also deepen the view on how early humans may have left Africa – much earlier than has been believed so far.
Here’s everything you need to know about the findings of the research, its implications for India, and the rest of the world.