Anthropology: the Origin and Dispersal of Modern Humans

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Anthropology 101
12/8/11
Final Exam
Chapter one: the origin and dispersal of modern humans
1. Explain the complete replacement model, the partial replacement model, and the regional continuity model. The replacement model of Christopher Stringer and Peter Andrews proposes that modern humans evolved from archaic humans 200,000-150,000 years ago only in Africa and then some of them migrated into the rest of the Old World replacing all of the Neandertals and other late archaic humans beginning around 60,000-40,000 years ago. If this interpretation of the fossil record is correct, all people today share a relatively modern African ancestry. All other lines of humans that had descended from Homo erectus presumably became extinct. From this view, the regional anatomical differences that we now see among humans are recent developments--evolving mostly in the last 40,000 years. This hypothesis is also referred to as the "out of Africa", "Noah's ark", and "African replacement" model.

The regional continuity model advocated by Milford Wolpoff proposes that modern humans evolved more or less simultaneously in all major regions of the Old World from local archaic humans. For example, modern Chinese are seen as having evolved from Chinese archaic humans and ultimately from Chinese Homo erectus. This would mean that the Chinese and some other peoples in the Old World have great antiquity in place. Supporters of this model believe that the ultimate common ancestor of all modern people was an early Homo erectus in Africa who lived at least 1.8 million years ago. It is further suggested that since then there was sufficient gene flow between Europe, Africa, and Asia to prevent long-term reproductive isolation and the subsequent evolution of distinct regional species. It is argued that intermittent contact between people of these distant areas would have kept the human line a single species at any one time. However, regional varieties, or subspecies, of humans...
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