Homo sapiens sapiens (Hss) Events

L. David Roper (roperld@vt.edu)


Dates are approximate.
One view of pre-Hominid and Hominid history
See skulls of ancient hominids.
5,000,000 ybp Hominids separated from other primates
2,000,000 ybp Homo habilis
1,750,000 ybp Initial hominid exodus from Africa
1,500,000 ybp Home erectus
1,000,000 ybp Early hominids in Spain and Central Asia
500,000 ybp Common ancestor of Homo sapiens sapiens (Hss) and Homo neanderthalensis
400,000 ybp Early hominids in China
150,000 ybp Mitochondrial Eve in Africa
100,000 ybp Some Homo sapiens sapiens left Africa into Middle East
71,000 ybp Eruption of Toba, Sumatra volcano and the ensuing cold millennium
which killed almost all Hss (estimate of 5,000 left)
This was right at a minimum temperture of about 7 degrees C below current temperature.
The eruption took the temperature down to about 9 degrees C below current temperature for about 1000 years.
60,000 ypb Y-chromosome Adam
50,000 ybp Hss Eurasians separated out from Africans, followed coast lines and arrived in Australia
40,000 ybp Europeans separated out from Eurasians
40,000 ybp Modern humans reached southern Siberia
35,000 ybp Modern humans reached Europe
Earliest Paleolithic cave art in Fumane Cave near Verona, Italy
30,000 ybp First major wave of migration into India from the Middle East
28,000 ybp Date of latest fossil of Homo Neanderthalensis.
25,0000 Paleolithic Hss migrated south to southern France and northern Spain because of ice-age cold
20,000 ypb Modern humans reached the Asian Arctic
18,000 ypp Paleolithic Hss congregated in ice-age refugia in the Iberian Peninsula, the Balkans and the Ukraine.
15,000 ybp Northeast Asians migrated into North America through the Bering Straits, then dry
14,000 ybp A large Antarctica ice sheet melted and caused a rapid rise in sea level and warming of Europe.
12,000-10,000 ybp

Europe repopulated after Last Glacial Maximum from the three ice-age refugia.

[Y-chromosome haplogroups R1b (Iberian Peninsula), I (Balkans) and R1a (Ukraine).]

It is easy to see why Athens and Rome developed advanced "civilizations" first in Europe.

(Click on maps for references.)

10,000 ybp Agriculture began in Middle East
8,500 ybp Earliest known permanent settlement at Jericho in the Middle East
8,200 ybp Huge ice dam broke in northeast North America, which caused the filling of the Irish Sea, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Baltic Sea.
This led to much colder temperatures for about 300-500 years in western Europe. This caused Europeans to separate into isolated groups.
Articles about this: The Europeans left in western Europe are called Paleolithic.
8,000 ybp Neolithic farmers migrated from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.
[Y-chromosome haplogroups I3b, F, J2, G2 and N3.]
Agriculture developed in this group and they later joined the Paleolithic group in western Europe.
A map of Europe and the continental shelf, which gives the basic outline of the European land area before the c8200 ybp flooding:

This map was generated by Micrsoft's Interactive World Atlas
The red line is the approximate southern limit of the glacial cover at the peak of the Ice Age c18,000 ybp.
7,600 ybp The Black Sea and surrounding area flooded with salt water by the breaching of a narrow strip of land by the rising Mediterranean Sea to create the Strait of Bosporus:
5,500 ybp Wheel invented
4,000 ybp Hss migrated to Polynesian Islands
Lower Paleolithic 300,000-70,000 BC Old Stone Age
Middle Paleolithic 70,000-12,000 BC
Upper Paleolithic 35,000-12,000 BC
Mesolithic 12,000-10,000 BC Middle Stone Age
Holocene Neolithic 10,000-4500 BC New Stone Age
Chalcolithic 4500-3000 BC Copper Stone Age
Bronze Age 3,000-2,500 BC Early Bronze Age
2,500-2,000 BC Middle Bronze Age
2,000-1,200 BC Late Bronze Age

For information about climate history see: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/overview.html. Here is a summary:

Climate History
150,000 ybp to present Africa climate: http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nercAFRICA.html
120,000-15,000 ybp Last Major Ice Age. The following graph shows the temperature measurements (left scale) in the Vostok Antarctica ice core, along with a particular calculation of the solar insolation (dashed line and right scale; due to interactions of other planets and the moon with the earth, changing the earth's orbit and orientation relative to the sun) and a polynomial fit to the temperatures (solid line):

The temperature data and the insolation calculation are strongly correlated with a 5000 year temperature lag relative to the insolation.
Two Major Interglacials between the last Major Ice Age and the previous Major Ice Age and the next Major Ice Age (the one we are now in) are shown.
Notice the four Minor Ice Ages and five Minor Interglacials within the last Major Ice Age.
Also, notice the many Little Ice Ages and Little Interglacials within the Minor Ice Ages.
Notice the prolongation of the current Major Interglacial (super-interglacial) relative to the last Major Interglacial (and others before it) due to exponential increases in human population and energy and matter released into the atmosphere.
Direct measurements of temperature (in C degrees on left scale) compared to world population (in billions on right scale) over the last thousand years:

So, until humans quit dumping stored earth energy and materials into the atmosphere (which they will in a few hundred years as that stored energy is depleted), the super-interglacial mentioned above will increase in temperature, even though the solar insolation has been decreasing. This will probably be enhanced by an upward trend in the solar irradiance.
For more details, see: http://www.arts.bev.net/roperldavid/InsolationIceAges.pdf (a large pdf file).
20,000 ybp Global temperature averages about 10 degrees C cooler than today.
14,000 ybp A sudden warming followed by a decline. See graph above.
11,600 ybp In less than one decade there was a sudden warming. See http://globe.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/abrupt.html
8,200 ybp Huge ice dam broke in northeast North America, which caused the filling of the English channel and much flooding and much colder temperatures for about 300-500 years in western Europe. This caused Europeans to separate into isolated groups.
Out of Africa migrations of Homo sapiens sapiens
(Reference: The Journey of Man, A Genetic Odyssey by Spencer Wells, p.182.):
It appears to me that the migration from Africa/Middle East went south along the coast first (50,000 ybp) for two reasons:
  • The extremely cold climate after 71,000 ybp dried up inner Africa and forced Hss to the east coast, where they learned to survive by the seashore.
  • The existence of extreme cold and the Neanderthals to the northwest in Europe were barriers to migrating in that direction. Only later in 10,000 ybp did Neolithic Hss take the northwest route from Africa/Middle East, after the Paleolithic Hss had already gotten there 30,000 ybp from central Asia.
Both my male-ancestral line and my mother's male-ancestral line took the long scenic Paleolithic route.

Phylogram and phylogenetic network for populations

It might be of interest to view a time-ordered (rooted tree) phylogram and a phylogenetic network (unrooted tree) of 72 populations as reported in (web page no longer available). [To create time-ordered phylograms, I use the PHYLIP/Kitsch software using the relative-mutations matrix to generate a tree file (*.tre) to be plotted by the TreeView software. (For a description of how I do it, see PHYLIPTreeViewUse.htm.)]:

Saami=northern Norway, Sweden & Russia; Mari=central Russia; Chuvashi=central Russia; Ossetia=border of Russia & Georgia; Gotland=island off SE coast of Sweden.
If the Scotts/Irish/Cornish separation from the other European populations occurred c8000 ybp (filling of English Channel), then the extreme left edge is about 60,000 ybp, which is consistent with the time Homo sapiens sapiens left Africa for Eurasia. (See migration map above.)

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