1.1.1- Early Patterns of Human Migration

Early Human Civilization
BY: Ally Kane, Emily Mertz, Natalie Prisciandaro, & Lauren Lucas
Opening Summary:

Early human civilization contained many aspects that shaped the history of mankind and developed the foundation for the world in which humans live in today. Human migration can be traced around the globe, showing us as humans how inclined we are to travel to new places, satisfy our curiosity and find new ways to survive. In terms of humans and early technology, the tools ranged from bone axes to iron chisels. Developing new tools is one of the most important continuities of our time, for it leads to growth and allows humans to reach their full capabilities of innovation. Early human civilizations were primarily hunting and gathering economies, which allowed groups of people to survive.

Early Patterns of Human Migration

  • Human migration can be defined as the movement of people from one place in the word to another for the purpose of taking up permanent or semi-permanent residence
  • These migrations have occurred throughout human history, the first speculated to have began with humans in Africa spreading to different regions of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia
  • The regions we live in currently are a direct result of these early human migrations who left their place of origin to explore and eventually conquer the continents we inhabit today

Pre-human, originating in Africa
Pre-human, originating in Africa

  • Began with pre-humans & the first Homo sapiens
  • Continues with modern humans today

  • It’s believed that the first Homo sapiens appeared in Africa around 400,000 years ago
  • 100,000 years ago they moved north out of Africa into the Middle East, and eventually pushed into Europe and Asia.
external image migrate.gif


  • No one knows for sure from where or how the first humans came to be, lack of adequate recor
    African migratory patterns
    African migratory patterns
    • “Out of Africa” theory: pre-humans developed in Africa and then spread to Europe and parts of Asia. This idea remains widely accepted as it has the most scientific evidence supporting it.
      • Single group of Homo sapiens left Africa, replacing other early humans, like Neanderthals instead of reproducing with them
      • Supported by various DNA studies showing how groups of people share genetic features with/have DNA that can be traced by to ancient mexternal image dna_death_row_supreme_court.jpgodern humans that lived in Africa over 50,000 years ago
      • Theory was created in 1990 when conducted DNA studies suggest that all humans descend from one female that is referred to as the "Mitochondrial Eve"
      • Also known as the African Replacement Hypothesis
    • Early human migratory patterns, originating in Africa and spreading to Eurasia and the Middle East
      Early human migratory patterns, originating in Africa and spreading to Eurasia and the Middle East
    • A second theory suggests a theory of evolution and believes pre-humans slowly evolved into Homo sapiens throughout regions of Europe, Africa, and Asia
      • Believe Homo sapien populations began to reproduce, which passed characteristics of new modern humans through the population quickly
      • This idea would account for some of the regional differences seen between different human populations

  • There are many different ways that scientists can infer where the human migratory patterns began and where they were traveling to
    • Using fossil evidence
      • 36,000 year old skull from South Africa proves the modern human migration from Africa into Eurasia
        First fossil proof of human migration; first human skull
        First fossil proof of human migration; first human skull
      • Team of Russian archaeologists uncover various human teeth as well as other artifacts that can be dated to approximately 45,000 years ago which suggest a human migration to Eastern Europe before settling in further west areas of Europe where modern humans spread 40,000 years ago
    • Genetic anthropology
      • Combines DNA and physical evidence to reveal the history of ancient human migration.
      • Some pieces of DNA remain unaltered as they pass from parent to child and so on
      • A certain genetic indicator is carried by all men and women of a specific region and can be traced back to them even after leaving that region

    • Push factors: reasons for leaving one place because of a difficulty such as a food shortage, war, flood, etc...
    • Pull factors: reasons for coming to another place because of something desirable like a nicer climate, better food supply, freedom, etc...
      Ancient hunters, plentiful game is viewed as a pull factor.
      Ancient hunters, plentiful game is viewed as a pull factor.
    • The most common push a pull factors deal with …
      • The environment; climate, natural disasters, etc...
      • Political situations; war, oppressive governments
      • The economy; work opportunities or relocation
      • Culture; religious freedom, education, recreational reasons
Case Study:
    • The Baring Strait is a land bridge which would have allowed humans to walk from Russia to Alaska, allowing the migration of ancient humans from Asia to North and South Amer
      The Baring Strait, a land bridge connecting Russia and Alaska
      The Baring Strait, a land bridge connecting Russia and Alaska
      ica roughly around 12,000 years ago. Scientists believe the pull factors of plentiful game for hunting is what originally brought Native Americans across it. The main evidence supporting this theory is genetic similarities spread throughout Native Americans across both American continents, suggesting the migration came from one source over time. This migration, from Russia to Alaska, continued south as Native Americans began traveling the coast to reach South American regions.

    • Humans have been migrated from place to place since the beginning of time. Although there is no written record of human migratory patterns, scientists must use different versions of evidence, fossils, artifacts and DNA clues to hypothesize these different patterns. The central theory is the idea that humans began their very first migration out of Africa 100,000 years ago into the regions of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. These patterns of migration were created by different push and pull factors that were present at the time, lack of water, curiosity, natural disaster, etc... These push and pulls as well as other factors can provide evidence of how the ancient humans behaved socially, traveling in groups in search of food, water, a better lifestyle, and so on. These first patterns of migration mark the beginning of humankind today.
Early migration patterns originating in Africa
Early migration patterns originating in Africa

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