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Early humans used a green Levant as a stepping stone out of Africa – study

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Early humans migrated out of Africa through the Middle East with the help of a favorable climactic window, using today’s Israel and the surrounding region as a stepping stone on their way to Europe and the rest of Asia, according to a new study.

The Jordan Rift Valley likely provided a green corridor for early humans to migrate north during a regional “humid interval” when people were first establishing a permanent foothold outside Africa.

Homo sapiens set up long-term settlements in the region over some 8,000 years, including on the shores of a large freshwater lake around the modern Dead Sea, the researchers from several German universities wrote. Their findings were based on archaeological remains in Jordan, which were correlated with ecological data from the Dead Sea to ascertain the local environment at the time.

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The study suggests that early human migration out of Africa was not a continuous expansion, but a long process facilitated by complex interactions between early humans and their environment. The opening of the corridor was likely a necessary precondition for the migration to Eurasia, with the early humans slowly expanding through the north-south passageway, rather than in all directions.

“Human presence consolidated in the region under favorable climate conditions,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Jürgen Richter of the University of Cologne. “Humans did not come by steady expansion out of Africa through the Levant and farther to Europe and Asia. Rather, they first settled in a........

© The Times of Israel

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