The whole concept of "Africans" is a childish, sometimes sentimental, sometimes racist, lumping cultural interpretations in fixed geographical terms.
Acknowledgement: For you poor bastards who don't have a clue about paleo-anthropology, please do note that there are a multitude of fake news sites out there trying, for example, to make you believe that modern human intelligence started as "symbolism in the Blombos cave 70-1000,000 bp" - sometimes even spiced with completely unrelated cave paintings no older than a few thousand years. There are many such examples swirling around on the web - even incl. some so called "serious" sites. Scratch the surface and you'll see Klevius is the path to follow.
Ludvig Wittgenstein (mentor of Georg Henrik von Wright, who mentored Peter Klevius):
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
Homo naledi is a so far undated silent hominid found in South Africa.Mathole Motshekga, on the other hand, is a vocal representative of stupid modern humans who calls John Hawks et al, "pseudo-scientists". And although Klevius agrees that John Hawks (like many others) out of Africa talk may come close to "pseudoscience", Klevius doubts that John Hawks wants to make "Africans" subhuman.
In reading the below do note that the conventional Homo sapiens (HS) and Homo sapiens sapiens (HSS) classification has so far no known genetic basis.
Klevius proposes a possible scenario where modern human genes from eastern Eurasia "waded" through "Neanderthal land", multiplying and continuing down to Africa, hence absorbing and diluting so called "Neanderhal" genes to a point they almost vanished (see more below). It has for long been seen as a "mystery" why the Neanderthal mixing with Homo sapiens (HS) didn't start earlier - considering that they must have often come in touch with each other. Moreover, Svante Pääbo about the genetic revelations of the Sima de los Huesos hominins: “They are consistent with a rather early divergence of 550,000 to 750,000 years ago of the modern human lineage from archaic humans.” However, this problem is easily solved with Peter Klevius theory which states (see below) that the key to a "re-mixing" came from Denisovans who had been stuck in island SE Asia where they still possessed hybridization capabilities from before the Neanderthal-Denisovan split. So, together with a smaller but better packed brain (jungle/island dwarfing) some Denisovans left their island isolation during a time of low sea level (iceage) and started spreading towards the north where they met with their old kin (Altai Neanderthal) and hybridized in a way that also opened up for what we used to call HS and HSS and the hybridization with other "Neanderthals".
The Denisovan population shows a drastic genetic decline relative to old genetic markers found in modern human populations. Do note mongoloid San as the least effected during the decline. This is in line with Peter Klevius theory which states that Denisovan genes started from SE Asia, and became diluted away after hybridizing produced the modern human in northern Eurasia who then flooded the world without fully erasing the furthermost ones. Do also note the additional effect of much later Austronesian colonizers who interbred with aboriginal women high in Denisovan genes (mtDNA), thereby spreading them farther out.
HS has been used in physical anthropology (pre-genetics) to describe intermediate forms close to modern human appearance yet still visibly archaic. In this categorization HSS was supposed (based on available datings) to have appeared quite recently (~40,000 bp). However, due to shortcomings in dating technology and spiced with prejudice and ignorance, many Eurasian fossils (especially from the east) have been wrongly assessed. So for example was the Liujiang skull (mentioned below) thought to have been only between 10,000-30,000 bp - much because its modern look didn't fit in prevailing ideas. Today, however, we know that Liujiang can't be younger than 68,000 bp and most likely between 100,000-130,000 bp with some additional suggestions of more than 155,000 bp. All of these new dates puncture the whole idea of HS/HSS and out of Africa. Moreover, Liujiang is far from alone in SE Asia.
Peter Klevius: The biggest challenge for a paleo-anthropologist is to avoid cultural (incl. political and religious) interpretations. Although you may or may not have some cultural connections with your children, parents, other close persons etc., what's 100% certain is that you have no whatsoever cultural connection with individuals or groups tens of thousands of years ago.
Talking about culture, as Klevius has been informed that muslims are easily offended, he hereby calls for muslim "Africans" to comfort themselves (for not being "the original") with the fact that no matter how you look, Klevius would never feel knowing anything about your intelligence, because of the enormous mixing of genes that has been going on. Moreover, if Klevius would dislike or despise people with less intelligence than himself, he would never be able to believe in Human Rights equality - nor could he have treated children as well as he has.
The reality of human evolution is quite different from the pathetic homogeneous "out of Africa" mythology, which clearly seems to rest on some sort of racism based on any particularity of being "African"*. However, if you're a sharia muslim who opposes basic Human Rights equality, then that would hint to Klevius that you either aren't very bright or that you are a deliberate racist and sexist.
* The only time Peter Klevius has considered himself a proud "European" is when he criticizes Europeanism (see e.g. Klevius critical European profile on his web site museum - not touched upon since more than a decade ago).
Klevius 2012 maps on human evolution
Liujiang (SE China 68,000-155,000 bp) compared to a later Chinese paleo skull.The Upper Cave 102 skull was found at the same location as much more archaic looking skulls from the same period.
Klevius: Do note that Liujiang in SE China is much older (see below) than UC 102 in NE China. UC 102 may possess both pre- and postmortem deformations.
Eurasia fossils show a diverse morphological picture. Klevius therefore tries to trace the most modern ones.
Peter Brown: Parts of three human skeletons were excavated from the Upper Cave and one of these, UC102 referred to as the “Melanesian woman” by Weidenreich, as been argued to be artificially deformed (Brothwell 1975). However, the UC102 skeleton was lost at the same time as the Zhoukoudian H. erectus (Peking Man) fossils in 1941 and the original specimen is now only known from a plaster replica. Both the replica and original description by Weidenreich (1939) indicates that the UC102 cranium was broken and somewhat distorted postmortem. This complicates any anatomical assessment of the cranium, but as Donald Brothwell correctly indicated, the shape and proportions of the major cranial vault bones are consistent with cranial deformation. The cranium of Upper Cave 102 (UC102) is nearly complete but has severe post mortem damage. This has left the skull with a number of long and quite broad cracks running transversely across the parietal and occipital regions and the cranium as a whole is somewhat twisted to the right. The skull can be compared to the other well-preserved “female” cranium found at the site (Upper Cave 103), which does not share UC102's unusual morphology. Morphologically, the unusual features of UC102 include the lengthening and flattening of the frontal bone, with a marked flattening in the posterior two-thirds of the bone, and great cranial height. There is also a series of depressions on either side of the mid-line on the frontal bone, however, there is no evidence of a prebregmatic eminence. While the age of UC102 will always remain uncertain (10-29 ka BP) the evidence indicates that it was deformed during infancy and may be the earliest recorded evidence of this type of behavior.
Deborah L.Cunningham, Daniel J. Wescott (2002): Since there is disagreement over the sex of Upper Cave 102, this specimen is treated alternately as a female and as a male. Results show that the Upper Cave specimens exhibit signiﬁcantly more variation than do individuals within more recent human populations, especially if UC102 is considered male. Furthermore, results indicate that the fossils never fall into the same modern human group, and that each specimen is signiﬁcantly atypical of its nearest modern neighbor in multivariate space. We conclude that the three Upper Cave crania do not represent a family group but are representative of the larger contemporaneous heterogeneous Asian Pleistocene population. Our results support the contention that today’s within-group homogeneity is a relatively recent phenomenon, and is likely the result of a Neolithic population expansion and its many eﬀects.
Tam Pa Ling (Laos)
The Tam Pa Ling fossil from Laos is now estimated to be between 46,000 and 63,000 years old and has clear implications for modern human origins.
Laura Shackelfor: "It supports an Out-of-Africa model for modern human origins and not a multiregional hypothesis because the anatomy is clearly modern and without features that are typical of local, archaic populations. Given its early date, it also suggests that the migration out of Africa occurred relatively quickly — genetic data indicates that the earliest migration of modern humans into Southeast Asia occurred at least 60,000 years ago."
Peter Klevius: Quite the opposite. It proves the out of Africa story as completely flawed. Do note "the anatomy is clearly modern and without features that are typical of local, archaic populations" and "it also suggests that the migration out of Africa occurred relatively quickly". It took "Homo idaltu" (see below) some 100,000 years to manage from the edge of NE Africa to enter Sinai or the Arabian penisula, while we are made to believe truly modern humans would have done the trip from Africa to eastern China in no time at all. It's a little bit like the belief in "Neanderthals" developing and staying just outside Africa, never to return from Israel to Egypt.
Timeline of Peter Klevius theory on human evolution:
1992: Cold adapted mongoloid features pointed to the fat and protein rich, albeit also challenging, cold north as a propellant for human evolution. The puzzling Khoisan (no cold adaptation needed in southern Africa) and Jinniushan (northern China "mongoloid" early archaic sapiens) pattern combined with the lack of mongoloid features in Australia seemed to support this view.
2003 (first time on the web): Ice age and inter glacial variations may have forced developed genes back and forth through central Asian passes, hence speeding up and/or spreading evolution of what became modern humans.
2004: The discovery of Homo floresiensis put focus on isceage island/main land fluctuations in island south east Asia with the additional effects of dwarfing which resulted in better packed, albeit really small skulls.
2010: The Denisova bracelet and the Denisovan genome contributed the final clues in the theory, linking the new brain to big skulled "neanderthal" relatives and HS.
To this one may add that the 50,000 bp sewing needle found in Altai, fits extremely well in Pääbo's et al genetic analysis that places the mixing with the Altai "Neanderthal" and Denisovan not far ahead of it on the time scale.
An important implication of the theory is that although this relatively sudden "jump" in intelligence (first in small brained SE Asians and later in Siberia/Altai big brained HSS via Altai "Neanderthal") was the starting point for the spread of what we call the truly modern human, it later became progressively diluted because of:
1 Not every child from hybridized HSS tribes got it in the first place, and
2 when HSS spred around and multiplied, it now possessed the capability to hybridize with more archaic homos with due dilution as a consequence - especially
3 where human societies multiplied with less demand for intelligence (compare cattle breeding/farming etc. in favorable environments.
As a consequence of this pattern the sparsely populated north got and kept a richer mix (every third to tenth child - your guess is as good as mine) of this new intelligence, mainly among smaller cold adapted individuals. However, later on there was a selection based on sex segregation, when big (compare Kurgan people) males from the Russian steppe started raiding the north for women. This development, in turn, resulted in some of their kids becoming both big and intelligent in a time when size still really mattered. It's among these people we may locate the sources for the repeated conquests of the southern more populous areas. This may include the spread of Indo-Aryans, Tocharians, Seima-Turbino, the "sea people", Celts, Goths and Vikings. And the reason why Klevius keeps emphasizing "Finland-Swedes" as the latest in this development is precisely because Klevius is a Finland-Swede (i.e. a bilingual Finn with old Swedish as his mother tongue) and therefore has experienced a linguistic and cultural milieu involving Sami, old Nordic, Finnish and Karelian (now Russia).
Moreover, by looking at historical maps and migration patterns as well as history itself, it's easy to see how the proto-Uralic/Indo-European (bilingual) borderline zone has moved north west from its Russian mainland. As explained in Klevius Origin of the Vikings (since 2006 on the web) the Finnish epos Kalevala gives a good basis for this line of thought.
Fennoscandia (area 1.2 million km2) is located in a changing climate zone (e.g. Gulf stream) that has been in varying degree sparsely populated but with contact zones both to the northern hunter gatherers as well as the farmers and raiders in the more southern parts of the peninsula. Do note that it was the bilingual contacts that made Finland-Swedish Vikings so successful both in the east (northern Russia was Finnish) and the west (old Nordic became spoken all the way to Iceland - incl. big parts of Britain were Old Nordic already existed).
The "sudden jump" in technology and genetic profile intimately follows the "4-species" (incl. X) hybridization events we now know about from genomes found in the Denisova cave.
50,000 bp sewing needle found in the Denisova cave, Altai/Siberia
Do note that 40,000 bp for the Denisova stone bracelet is a conservative estimate.
The "jump" in sophistication ~45-50,000 bp (compare e.g. 50,000 bp sewing needle and more than 40,000 bp stone bracelet in the Denisova cave in Altai followed by "lion man", sculpted portraits plus cave art from western Europe to later Sulawesi etc. finds) is so great and evolutionary sudden compared to previous human ancestors that it calls for an explanation that is impossible to find within the African continent. Africa lacks paleo DNA as well as modern skulls older than ~30,000 bp (Hofmeyr skull shows archaic features and its dating is unsure and no more than 36,000 bp - probably much younger). Africa also lacks the level of art of the crucial period. This has to be considered against the background of the Denisovan and the so called Altai Neanderthal genomes, as well as the existence of a 55,000 bp modern looking very small (1,100 cc) skull cap in Israel (Manot) and a much older fully modern looking big (1,567 cc) skull from Liujiang on the east coast of southern China, dated to at least 70,000 bp but more likely much older - incl. suggestions of more than 155,000 bp which would make it contemporary with the much more archaic looking Idaltu skull (1,450 cc) which has been baptized Homo idaltu although it lacks any credibilty for this - even out of Africa fantast Chris Stringer criticized the move.
Theories have to be built on existing data theoretically sewn together in a possible way. Africa is impossible not only with existing data but what we already have excludes it entirely - except for if you insist on simply naming bi-pedalism human.
However, starting with Klevius cold adaptation theory (in Demand for Resources 1992, ISBN 9173288411), and continuing with his pre-floresiensis "better wrinkled brain" theory on the web (Out of Africa as pygmies and back as global mongoloids, 2003 and floresiensis updated to 2006 - thereafter no changes to the page which is part of Klevius "web museum"), and 2010 Denisova connection as originating in island/mainland fluctuating SE Asia causing the "better packed brain" which later encountered the so called "Altai Neanderthal", a pattern emerges that fits known data so far. And according to this line of thought, it's only bi-pedalism that evolved in Africa in the form of something like the 7 million year old Sahelanthropus tchadensis ape. All other stages are the result of repeated island/mainland fluctuations and due "mongolizing" explorations to the north (compare Klevius example of the remarkable Jinniushan skull in his 1992 book).
For out of Africa fanatics old divergences between African populations constitute a mirage created by admixture between incoming modern humans and archaic paleo-africans. Always keep in mind that at all stages in hominine evolution there has been repeated north-south movement often triggered by climatic changes.
Here are some "heavy" names on the theme. Although they carelessly repeat an empty "out of Africa" mantra (without defining it) please consider them in the context of Klevius theory (Klevius will later comment more specifically).
John Hawks: We have no reason to assume that other populations, such as the Denisovans, would not be mistaken for modern humans, certainly based on the fragments that have so far been unearthed. I’m very enthusiastic about Sulawesi. It may be a beautiful test of the biogeography of early Homo across its southern range. If archaic humans were effectively using coastal habitat as a dispersal corridor, we may expect that they repeatedly reached Sulawesi—by 120,000 years ago, they may even have been in continuous contact.
Or if Southeast Asia was full of human populations with high endemism, some founded by Homo erectus-like populations, then Sulawesi may have been home to such a population. Unlike Flores, the resource base on Sulawesi was richer and island’s size would have enabled a relatively large human population, possibly large enough to avoid the mutational meltdown possibilities of the smaller island population.
Michael F. Hammer (whom Klevius referred to already back in 2003 re. "back migration") et al (2011) found evidence for two separate peaks in the maximum-likelihood surface: (i) an older peak with an archaic split time, T0 ≈ 700 kya, a time of admixture, Ta ≈ 35 kya, and an admixture proportion, a ≈ 2%; and (ii) a more recent peak with T0 ≈ 375 kya, Ta ≈ 15 kya, and a ≈ 0.5% (Fig. 2). Although our method has little power to infer the exact admixture proportion, we can place 95% CIs on the times of divergence (125 kya < T0 < 1.5 Mya) and admixture (Ta < 70 kya) (SI Materials and Methods). Note that T0 for the more recent peak is consistent with the Biaka–Mandenka split time estimates from the two-population model.
A survey of the insertion that is diagnostic for the divergent haplotype at 4qMB179 (i.e., at position 179,598,847 in Table S3) in 502 individuals from West, East, central, and southern Africa reveals that it reaches its highest average frequency (3.6%) in Pygmy groups from west-central Africa (Fig. 4). The variant is also found at low average frequencies (0.8%) in some non-Pygmy groups from West and East Africa. An A→G mutation that marks the divergent haplotype at 18qMB60 shows a similar distribution—also reaching its highest average frequency in the Pygmy groups—although it is found at slightly lower frequencies than the variant at 4qMB179 (i.e., 1.6% vs. 3.6%, respectively). This variant is also found in some non-Pygmy groups, exhibiting similar average frequencies as the 4qMB179 variant in West Africans (0.8%), East Africans (0.8%), and southern Africans (0.5% vs. 0.0%, respectively).
Interestingly, the distribution of the G→A variant marking the divergent haplotype at 13qMB107 exhibits a somewhat different geographic distribution, reaching its highest average frequency in our sample of southern Africans (6.3%, and especially in the San at a frequency of 11.9%) rather than in central African Pygmies (average of 5.2%). However, it is important to note that its presence in our sample of central Africans is entirely limited to the Mbuti, where it has a frequency of 14.8%.
Our inference methods reject the hypothesis that the ancestral population that gave rise to AMH in Africa was genetically isolated and point to several candidate regions that may have introgressed from an archaic source(s). For example, we identified a ≈31.4-kb region within the 4qMB179 locus with highly diverged haplotypes, one of which is found at low frequency in several Pygmy groups in central Africa. We hypothesize that the unusual haplotype descends from an archaic DNA segment that entered the AMH population via admixture. The observed haplotype structure is highly unusual (P < 5 × 10−5), even when we account for recent population structure or uncertainty in the underlying recombination rate (Table S4). It is noteworthy that the two ends of the archaic haplotype correspond to recombinational hotspots in the 4qMB179 region, suggesting that an initially much longer block of archaic DNA was whittled down by frequent recombination in the hotspots.
Both inferential methods also identified the 13qMB107 locus as a likely introgression candidate; however, only ≈7 kb of the surveyed region contains SNPs that are in high LD, all of which are found at the 5′ end of the sequenced region in two San individuals. To determine whether the length of the unusual pattern of SNPs extends beyond our sequenced region at 13qMB107, we examined public full genome sequence data (25). We identified a San individual (!Gubi) who carried one copy of the unusual 13qMB107 haplotype and noted a run of heterozygous sites that extended an additional ≈7 kb to the 5′ side of our sequenced region. Like the case of 4qMB179, the two ends of the unusual haplotype correspond to recombinational hotspots, and analysis of 13qMB107 yields an estimated divergence time of ≈1 Mya and a recent introgression time (≈20 kya) (Table 1).
The geographic distribution of the introgressive variant at 18qMB60, a third candidate identified in the three-population model, is very similar to that of 4qMB179, albeit consistently found at lower frequencies. On the other hand, the distribution of the introgressive variant at 13qMB107 is distinguished from that of the other two candidate loci by its presence in the San and the southern African Xhosa, as well as in Mbuti from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Interestingly, the Mbuti represent the only population in our survey that carries the introgressive variant at all three candidate loci, despite the fact that no Mbuti were represented in our initial sequencing survey. Given that the Mbuti population is known to be relatively isolated from other Pygmy and neighboring non-Pygmy populations (26), this suggests that central Africa may have been the homeland of a now-extinct archaic form that hybridized with modern humans.
We have relied on an indirect approach to detect ancient admixture in African populations because there are no African ancient DNA sequences to make direct comparisons with our candidate loci. As proof of principle that an indirect approach can be useful, we reexamined the RRM2P4 pseudogene on the X chromosome. Using a similar approximate-likelihood methodology, it was previously posited that a divergent allele at the pseudogene introgressed from an archaic taxon in Asia (27, 28). We compared human and Neandertal RRM2P4 sequences and found that the three derived sites that define the non-African basal lineage are shared with Neandertal (Fig. S4). Thus, we verified that this unusual human sequence, which is characterized by a deep haplotype divergence and a small basal clade, is indeed shared with an archaic form. Further genome-level (i.e., multilocus) analysis will also shed light on the process of archaic admixture, which is likely to be more complicated than we have modeled. For instance, the multimodal likelihood surface in Fig. 2 suggests that gene flow among strongly subdivided populations in Africa may characterize multiple stages of human evolution in Africa.
Our results are consistent with earlier inferences supporting the role of archaic admixture in sub-Saharan Africa based on analyses of coding regions (19) and the Xp21.1 noncoding region.
The results point to relatively recent genetic exchange with an unknown archaic hominin that diverged from the ancestors of modern humans in the Lower-Middle Pleistocene and remained isolated for several hundred thousand years. Despite a fragmentary African fossil record, there are plenty of candidates for the source(s) of this introgression.
Beginning ≈700 kya, fossil evidence from many parts of Africa indicate that Homo erectus was giving way to populations with larger brains, a change that was accompanied by several structural adjustments to the skull and postcranial skeleton.
By ≈200 kya, individuals with more modern skeletal morphology begin to appear in the African record (8, 14).
Despite these signs of anatomical and behavioral innovation, hominins with a combination of archaic and modern features persist in the fossil record across sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East until after ≈35 kya.
The evidence presented here and elsewhere suggests that long-separated hominin groups exchanged genes with forms that either were in the process of evolving fully modern features, or were already fully modern in appearance.
The emerging geographic pattern of unusual variants discovered here suggests that one such introgression event may have taken place in central Africa (where there is a very poor fossil record).
Interestingly, recent studies attest to the existence of Late Stone Age human remains with archaic features in Nigeria (Iwo Eleru) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Ishango). The observation that populations from many parts of the world, including Africa, show evidence of introgression of archaic variants (6, 16, 19) suggests that genetic exchange between morphologically divergent forms may be a common feature of human evolution. If so, hybridization may have played a key role in the de novo origin of some our uniquely human traits.
PingHsun Hsieh et al (2016): Comparisons of whole-genome sequences from ancient and contemporary samples have pointed to several instances of archaic admixture through interbreeding between the ancestors of modern non-Africans and now extinct hominids such as Neanderthals and Denisovans. One implication of these findings is that some adaptive features in contemporary humans may have entered the population via gene flow with archaic forms in Eurasia. Within Africa, fossil evidence suggests that anatomically modern humans (AMH) and various archaic forms coexisted for much of the last 200,000 yr; however, the absence of ancient DNA in Africa has limited our ability to make a direct comparison between archaic and modern human genomes. Here, we use statistical inference based on high coverage whole-genome data (greater than 60×) from contemporary African Pygmy hunter-gatherers as an alternative means to study the evolutionary history of the genus Homo. Using whole-genome simulations that consider demographic histories that include both isolation and gene flow with neighboring farming populations, our inference method rejects the hypothesis that the ancestors of AMH were genetically isolated in Africa, thus providing the first whole genome-level evidence of African archaic admixture. Our inferences also suggest a complex human evolutionary history in Africa, which involves at least a single admixture event from an unknown archaic population into the ancestors of AMH, likely within the last 30,000 yr.
PingHsun Hsieh et al. (2016): African Pygmies practicing a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle are phenotypically and genetically diverged from other anatomically modern humans, and they likely experienced strong selective pressures due to their unique lifestyle in the Central African rainforest. To identify genomic targets of adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of four Biaka Pygmies from the Central African Republic and jointly analyzed these data with the genome sequences of three Baka Pygmies from Cameroon and nine Yoruba famers. To account for the complex demographic history of these populations that includes both isolation and gene flow, we fit models using the joint allele frequency spectrum and validated them using independent approaches. Our two best-fit models both suggest ancient divergence between the ancestors of the farmers and Pygmies, 90,000 or 150,000 yr ago. We also find that bidirectional asymmetric gene flow is statistically better supported than a single pulse of unidirectional gene flow from farmers to Pygmies, as previously suggested. We then applied complementary statistics to scan the genome for evidence of selective sweeps and polygenic selection. We found that conventional statistical outlier approaches were biased toward identifying candidates in regions of high mutation or low recombination rate. To avoid this bias, we assigned P-values for candidates using whole-genome simulations incorporating demography and variation in both recombination and mutation rates. We found that genes and gene sets involved in muscle development, bone synthesis, immunity, reproduction, cell signaling and development, and energy metabolism are likely to be targets of positive natural selection in Western African Pygmies or their recent ancestors.
In fact, everything is missing from Africa except the very oldest traits leading back to the chimp-bipedal ape split. However, that's not us.John Hoffecker thinks this guy and his/her pals because of bi-pedalism somehow created a "super brain community". However, no one has ever found anything supporting such a claim.
Eurasia from Europe to China was populated with bi-pedal apes at least 1.85 million years ago - probably much longer. East Africa happens to possess the world's easiest and biggest terrain for picking old hominid fossils, which fact has heavily influenced the overall picture (compare the Leakey family etc.).
The 52 kg big skulled Liujiang may well be the oldest truly modern looking human ever found so far.
Liujiang died as far from Africa you can get at that level.
Homo floresiensis and the chimpanzee have similar brain size, yet quite different cranial features, which explains why Homo floresiensis managed to make tools, fire and hunt on a level comparable with those with double its brain size.
Wikipedia: An indicator of intelligence is the size of Brodmann's area 10, the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with higher cognition. LB1's region 10 is about the same size as that of modern humans, despite the much smaller overall size of the brain.
Notwithstanding the small brain of H. floresiensis, the discoverers have associated it with advanced behaviors. Their cave shows evidence of the use of fire for cooking, and Stegodon bones associated with the hominins have cut marks. The hominin specimens have also been associated with stone tools of the sophisticated Upper Paleolithic tradition typically associated with modern humans, who have nearly quadruple the brain volume (1,310–1,475 cm3 (79.9–90.0 cu in)) and 2.6 times greater body mass. Some of these tools were apparently used in the necessarily cooperative hunting of Stegodon by these hominids.
German Dziebel (the out-of-America guy): The divergence of African-specific clades from Eurasians is a phylogenetic fact regardless of whether we believe in out-of-Africa or into-Africa. That's the reason why people mistakenly think people originated in Africa. Under out-of-Africa, there was an Africa-only "stage" in human evolution followed by an emergence of Eurasian clades in the course of the colonization of Eurasia. Eurasian clades are further removed from a hominid ancestor of modern humans than African-specific clades.
Haploid lineages show clades (mtDNA L0, L1, L2; Y-DNA A and B) that a) are not found outside of Africa, along the putative ancient routes that humans took when they left Africa; b) are clearly more divergent than the most wide-spread African lineages (mtDNA L3 and Y-DNA E) as well as non-African ones; and c) localized within Africa. They are likely candidates for "archaic" admixture and some of them are highly concentrated among Khoisans and Pygmies.
Early mixing of northern moderns with archaic "Africans"
South African less than 36,000 bp Hofmeyr skull is younger than the 38,000 bp Nazlet Khater 2 which was found on the border between Africa and Asia.
We only need Homo sapiens in America for my model to work. If African genetic divergence comes from admixture with archaics, then the lack of archaic hominins in America explains its less divergent character compared to Africans. And as Denisovan pinkie and tooth demonstrate, fossils takes time to accrue. "Time" as in hundreds of years. This has nothing to do with the presence or absence of humans. It has something to do with population size, density and technological adaptation.
Peter Klevius: German Dziebel is right when he criticizes the out of Africa direction. However, Klevius sees no need to go farther than Altai when you consider:
1 The existence of cold adapted mongoloid features among the oldest populations in South Africa (Khoisan), South Asia (Shompen) and America.
2 Denisovan genes can't have met with "Altai Neanderthal" genes in America.
3 There's no similar "art and tech track" in America.
just to mention a few
To clean out unnecessary ballast bias you better get rid of cultural interpretation of human evolution.
We have no clue about L0 "Eve's" home address. Just because Khoisan people with mongoloid features now happen to live in Africa doesn't mean that their genes are from there - other than for bi-pedalism millions of years ago.
If we by 'modern humans' mean something different from Neanderthals, erectus, etc. Mousterian-like cultures, then the picture is clearly focused outside Africa. And if we look at the timeline of modern physical traits, they clearly indicate an eastern origin.
Africa lacks any finds of truly modern human skulls at a time when they had already for long been around outside Africa. Liujiang in China is a big (1567cc) and very modern looking skull that outdates anything even close from Africa. Add to this a variety of teeth etc. from East Asia that predate anything from Africa.
The 55,000 bp Manot skull cap from Israel is very small (1,100cc) and that's the closest we can come to Africa. Yet it is more archaic than the much older Liujiang. Does it signal an archaic Pygmy/Khoisan/Negrito back migration?
These two examples fit well in Klevius theory that physiologically modern human looking hominins roamed the world, starting from East Asia,and then getting an IQ boost from Denisovan hybridization.
However, these two examples (Manot and Liujiang) aren't connected to anything new when it comes to sophistication of technology, although that "jump" must have happened shortly before the Denisova sewing needle (50,000 bp) in Altai/Siberia.
Do consider the multitude of techniques in use to blur the physical HSS definition. However, this skull can't be confused with anything from Africa before 70,000 bp.
The Liujiang skull most probably came from sediment dating to 111,000 to 139,000 bp but there is a small chance that it came either from a deposit dating from around 68 000 bp or from one dating to more than 153 000 bp. However, even the loweat est. combined with its very modern shape and size would even then make it the first of its kind.
Early modern human settlement of Europe north of the Alps occurred 43,500 years ago in a cold steppe climate - and 3,500 years earlier than in Mideast.Some 37,000-42,000 bp Neanderthals in Romania/Europe are supposed to have disappeared. Oase 1 is within the Aurignacian cultural tradition, which was the first wave of modern humans in Europe est. 45,000-35,000 bp. Compare this to the 45,000 bp modern HSS at Ust-ishim in western Siberia, of whom we have a full DNA.
For comparison, Mladeč 1, an early Upper Paleolithic skull from the Czech Republic, dating to around 36,000 bp compared to Manot 1 from Mideast 55,000 bp cranial capacity 1100 cc.
John Hawks: The morphology of the skull is very comparable to those that come from the early Upper Paleolithic of Europe. Its parietal bones bulge outward and upward into distinct bosses, which place its maximum breadth relatively high on the parietal bones, not at the midpoint of the skull as in Neandertals. But like many early Upper Paleolithic crania, it has Neandertal-like features. In the case of Manot 1, the occipital bone projects backward into a bun-like structure and there is a slight erosion of the surface of bone at the cranial rear called a suprainiac fossa.
Oase 1 from the same site and time as Oase 2, was clearly human but had some 5 to 11 percent of his genome originated from Neanderthals. This individual's Neanderthal ancestry was more recent than that of any modern human tested previously. Some half of its chromosome 12 sequence coincided with Neanderthals rather than modern humans and it had a Neanderthal ancestor within the past four to six generations, pointing to later than anticipated admixture between Neanderthals and the modern human population to which Oase 1 belonged.
The 55,000bp 1,100cc Manot skull from Israel is the closest to Africa you can get with a modern looking, albeit very small, individual. And do note that this skull is definitely much younger than the Chinese Liujiang.
Tampa Ling (Laos) skull (TPL1) and jaw (TPL2) est. 46,000-63,000 bp.
Recent discoveries in Laos, a modern human cranium (TPL1) from Tam Pa Ling‘s cave, provided the first evidence for the presence of early modern humans in mainland Southeast Asia by 63-46 ka. In the current study, a complete human mandible representing a second individual, TPL 2, is described using discrete traits and geometric morphometrics with an emphasis on determining its population affinity. The TPL2 mandible has a chin and other discrete traits consistent with early modern humans, but it retains a robust lateral corpus and internal corporal morphology typical of archaic humans across the Old World. The mosaic morphology of TPL2 and the fully modern human morphology of TPL1 suggest that a large range of morphological variation was present in early modern human populations residing in the eastern Eurasia by MIS 3.
Jaw from Tam Pa Ling in the Annamite Mountains, Laos, dating to between 46,000 and 63,000 ybp. Missing teeth mirrored by Klevius.
Niah skull, Sarawak (Malaysia) est. 39,000-45,000 bp.
Real contemporary portraits from the past support the morphological diversity mentioned above.
Mongoloids (red) and Australoids (blue) are the races most distant from each other because whereas Africa had a strong back migration of mongoloids (and "bastards" called Caucasians) Australia, due to its location, came to be less involved. This is also why the so called Caucasoid race (in a broad sense) came to populate what in Klevius terminology is called the "bastard belt" (the gray area on the map).