Posts Tagged ‘Archeology’

Morocco Sapiens 315,000 Old, Generalizing Humanity

June 8, 2017

Entangled With Neanderthals?

Fossils have been discovered in Morocco. Archaeologists unearthed the bones of at least five people at Jebel Irhoud, a former barite mine 100km west of Marrakesh, in excavations that lasted more than 50 years (notice that this is not far from the Atlantic Ocean). A team led by Jean-Jacques Hublin published their finds in the journal Nature.

They reported the oldest known remains of Homo sapiens. Anywhere. This suggests that Sapiens Sapiens evolved all across the African continent, not just East Africa (somewhat similar fossils were found in South Africa, 260,000 year old). Remarkably, those 315 K old early Homo Sapiens had faces much like our own. They would not have been noticed in the subway. Their faces were more modern than their skulls!

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Neanderthals Colonized North Africa For Hundreds Of Thousands Of Years. Why Not Reciprocally?

Thus, we did not evolve from a single ‘cradle of mankind’ somewhere in East Africa, contrarily to Charles Darwin’s statement claiming this. Darwin had no proof of what he said, yet he was followed like the sheep follows the shepherd (0nce more demonstrating the sheep love to follow sheep effect scientists are prone to). On the face of it, it’s perfectly ridiculous to claim there was something magical and sacred about East Africa (except for long distance running, and Morocco has also very good long distance runners… for basically the same evolutionary reason: excellent places to run down animals at high altitude… and getting genetically adapted that way)

We evolved all across the African continent. But not just this: the Gibraltar strait is only 14 kilometers wide, presently and it was less than half that wide during the many great glaciations of the last few million years. At that point, the strait was less than 5 kilometers across. It was easy to cross. And crossed by humans it was.

300,000 years ago, Neanderthals just appeared, and both them and the new Sapiens fossils found in Morocco could go back and forth across the strait.

Neanderthals came across, to Africa, from Europe: there are more genetic Neanderthal markers in North Africa than anywhere else. Now Neanderthals came later, while North Africa had, presumably, descendants of the recently found fossil of Sapiens. This proves an inequality:

Homo Neanderthalis > Archaic Homo Sapiens. Neanderthals are considered a sister group that lived alongside, and, particularly in Morocco,  even bred with, our modern human ancestors.

If Neanderthals could go to Africa, no doubt Africans could go the other way, to Eurasia. So why didn’t they? Were Homo Sapiens from Africa that inferior? Well, sort of.

This apparently unidirectional exchange (Europe TO Africa), for hundreds of thousands of years, shows that the Neanderthal type was more adapted to Eurasia and its conditions at the time, considering the technology available (this my thesis that Neanderthals were ice adapted Sapiens, tech dependent).

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DEMANDING EURASIAN ENVIRONMENT MADE The METAPHYSICAL ANIMAL STRONGER:

This major discovery in prehistory didn’t surprise me at all: advanced, 300,000 year old Homo Sapiens were discovered in Morocco. (North Africa is genetically mostly European, contrarily to what the locals fancy!)

Homo Sapiens is the metaphysical animal, going beyond the physics of nature to invent its own. What does not kill us makes us stronger, and more clever. More clever genetically, and culturally.

Thus it should not be surprising that the most sophisticated cultural-genetic versions of Homo appeared in the most demanding climates. Thinking otherwise may be PC, but not smart.

315,000 years old Sapiens skulls from Morocco.

This is what Jared Diamond did not want to understand, when he tried to claim in “Guns, Germs and Steel” that European superiority was just happenstance. Diamond said Europe had the best animals and the best plants: true enough. But he did not realize that was all from human bioengineering (much of it from the Fertile Crescent, 10,000 years ago, or more…)  

There were three most advanced civilization centers: Europe and Middle Earth, China and Mesoamerica. They have a temperate climates in common (in Mexico from high altitude). This is not accidental. It comes from having higher, more profitable sociocultural-evolutionary pressure there: basically ferocious progress was more possible there, from ease of communications, over vast human communities, and better rewarded.

These same forces have long been at work. Neanderthals had to achieve great superiority, just to survive. That’s probably why some of their genetic variations ended up all over North Africa, and all the way to South Africa.

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Why The Great Steppe Was Different And Conflictual With Europe and China:

Races long behaved differently for excellent reasons, tied to geography: the Mongols (Huns, etc.) terrorized the Chinese  for 40 centuries, because living in Mongolia made people tougher, more war like. 20 centuries ago, a Chinese army of 140,000 elite soldiers penetrated Mongolia over 1,000 kilometers, in a search and destroy mission. It was successful: the Huns fled west defeated their blondish cousin the half-bred Alani, further west, mixed with them and then defeated the giant Gothic empire. The Goths begged Roman emperor Valens’ administration to shelter them in the Imperium Romanorum. That turned into the proximal cause of the Fall of Rome.

I am not trying to be sneaky anti-Mongol here, calling them for the barbarians they were. The Mongols reached from Toulouse, France, all the way to Japan and Indonesia (and I have at least one Mongol genetic marker!)

Before I return to prehistoric man, let me point out that only 30,000 elite Chinese soldiers, from the expedition I evoked, came back to civilization…

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Out Of Africa And Out Of Eurasia:

For many decades there was a debate between the Out-Of -Africa theory and theories that Homo evolved in Africa AND Eurasia. To enforce the Out-Of-Africa theory, it was long argued Homo always evolved the most in East Africa. The Moroccan fossils shoot that down. Moroeover, modern North Africa are genetically Europeans, demonstrating the entanglement of Eurasia and Africa there. Having found nearly modern looking Homo Sapiens in North Africa shows that Neanderthals and Denisovans were indeed cold climes adapted versions, not inferior in any way.

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What to think of all of this? The Notion of Humanity Needs Enlarging!

For hundreds of thousands of years, all sorts of human species cohabitated on Earth. Some were hobbits (Homo Florensis), some were tall Homo Erectus, both two million years behind in leading cerebral evolutionary, others were sophisticated Eurasians (Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis, Homo Sapiens Denisovianis), etc.

These humans who lived between 50,000-300,000 years ago, or even up to two million years ago, are a morphologically diverse bunch. The ones living in cold climes (like Homo Ergaster in Georgia ) were obviously using technology. Whenever we find more than a couple of them from Morocco, Ethiopia or Israel, their morphology is all over the place both within and between samples. And we also know this for their genetics, also all over the place.

This implies that the notion of humanity needs to be broadened.

The present humanity is the fruit of an evolutionary process where many different species were mixed. Pieces of various genetics interacted, competed, eliminated each other. We have some genetics which may look Sapiens Sapiens, but may actually have evolved from Neanderthal ancestors reverting to deeper Homo Sapiens features their ancestors used to have.

In any case, we are clearly in a situation where the out of East Africa is itself out: all of Africa evolved Sapiens, and those Sapiens themselves were entangled with Neanderthals and Denisovans (and even more so on the side of the Nile and the Sinai, where we know Sapiens and Neanderthals mixed for dozens of thousands of years).  

We have a very entangled past. Yet, much of that evolution depended, naturally enough, upon where it happened. That, in turn, often depended upon what we wanted. Human groups had different abilities, mixing them enables to select better ones (that’s the exact opposite of what the Nazis thought, by the way). The strange relations between human groups in North Africa and Europe is not just history, it’s all about what, and how some capabilities of humanity are superior to others (and those are technology dependent). Superiority itself can lead to extinction, at least so did I suggest. (This sort of observation is a warning, looking forward! We can’t just be “superior”, hoping thus not to get extinct!… As all Jihadists will telly you…)

Depending upon where we went we evolved into different versions of who we are… The archeology of Morocco makes this obvious.

Patrice Ayme’

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