Mega-drought precipitated exodus of ancient African humans

November 14th, 2007 - 3:00 am ICT by admin  
According to Professor Andy Cohen, an analysis of soil samples extracted from below the bottom of the 2,000-foot-deep Lake Malawi in Africa shows the area was hit hard by drought.

Cohen, a lead researcher and lead author of Ecological Consequences of the Early Late Pleistocene Mega-droughts in Tropical Africa, says his findings offer an ecological explanation for the “out of Africa” hypothesis that suggests that all modern humans descended from a core group of ancient people living in Africa between 150,000 and 70,000 years ago.

The lake-bottom core samples show the area became rejuvenated between 90,000 and 70,000 years ago, with lakes rising to current levels following the severe drought.

Cohen claims that the field work undertaken on and under Lake Malawi, which borders Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, was very challenging.

Cohen’s group leased a 160-foot, 800-ton barge and converted it into a drilling platform.

“Technologically and logistically, it was very tough,” he said.

Despite the challenges, the rig was able to bore into the lake floor sediment more than 380 meters - 1,250 feet - and secure 3-inch diameter core samples for the analysis. (ANI)

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