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The origin and evolution of Homo sapiens

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Aurélien Mounier.

Genetic data suggest that we and our sister species Homo neanderthalensis shared a last common ancestor in the middle Pleistocene ~400-700ka, but the nature of that ancestor is currently uncertain. Those dates are at least 200,000 years earlier than the species origin indicated from fossils such as Omo Kibish 1 and Herto. However, variation across African later middle Pleistocene/early Middle Stone Age fossils shows that there was not a simple linear progression towards later sapiens morphology, and there was chronological overlap between ‘archaic’ and ‘modern’ morphs. Further complexity is added by growing evidence of late Pleistocene inter-lineage gene flow.

This talk is part of the Biological Anthropology Seminar Series series.

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