Evidence of early human existence in Malaysia rewrites Out of Africa theory

January 30th, 2009 - 3:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 30 (ANI): Scientists have found evidence of early human existence in Malaysia that dates back to 1.83 million years, which is proof of human mobility coming from Asia and Southeast Asia, and not just out of Africa.

According to a report in New Strait Times, the evidence was obtained from the discovery of artefacts in Bukit Bunuh, Lenggong, Perak, by researchers from Universiti Sains Malaysias (USM) Centre for Archaeological Research.

Associate Professor Mokhtar Saidin, the centres director, said that the evidence found included stone-made tools such as axes and chopping tools.

The artefacts were found embedded in suevite rock, formed as a result of the impact of meteorite crashing down at Bukit Bunuh.

The suevite rock, reputedly the first found in Southeast Asia, was sent to the Geochronology Japan Laboratory three months ago and carbon dated using the fission track dating method.

Mokhtar said that the results were sent back to USM two weeks ago and it showed the rock was dated to 1.83 million years ago.

He said based on current studies, there was fresh evidence of human mobility coming from Asia and Southeast Asia, and not just out of Africa.

This discovery may make the rewriting of the out of Africa theory necessary, he said.

Based on world evidence, there was early human existence out of Africa in Georgia (1.8 to 1.7 million years ago); Sangiran, Jawa, Indonesia (1.7 to 1.2 million years ago); as well as Longgupo and Yuanmou in China (1.8 to 1.6 million years ago).

He noted that with the new evidence, there was a possibility that the hominids in Java could have migrated from Bukit Bunuh as a result of destruction from the impact of meteorites.

The four square-kilometre site, which was first excavated between 2001 and 2003, revealed a Palaeolithic culture, dated at 40,000 years ago.

The meteorite crash site was also discovered, the impact of which had caused the stones in its original state at Bukit Bunuh to melt, congeal and subsequently form the suevite rock.

According to USM Vice-Chancellor Tan Sri Prof Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, the discovery was an important one for USM and the country as it would enable researchers to understand the origins of early humans in this region.

He said that the new discovery would also change the understanding of human exploration in this region. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health Science |