F Rosa Rubicondior: Creationism in Crisis - New Evidence Shows What Homo Sapiens Were Doing In Persia, Long Before 'Creation Week'

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Creationism in Crisis - New Evidence Shows What Homo Sapiens Were Doing In Persia, Long Before 'Creation Week'

The Persian Plateau, where early human migrants may have lived for several thousand years before dispersing to other parts of Eurasia.

Photo: Mohammad Javad Shoaee
Persian plateau unveiled as crucial hub for early human migration out of Africa – Griffith News

In that period of the history of Homo sapiens, long before creationism's little god got the idea of creating a small universe resembling a small, flat planet with a dome over it, according to their legends, early migrants out of Africa settled for a prolonged period in the Persian, or Iranian, Plateau where they lived from about 28,000 years, before dispersing to other parts of the Eurasian landmass.

They had earlier migrated out of Africa where they had been evolving from the common ancestor they shared with the other African Great Apes, leaving others behind to evolve into the modern African peoples, while the migrants dispersed across the rest of the globe to become modern Eurasian, Melanesian and American people, interbreeding with the descendants of an earlier migration out of Africa as they did so.

The evidence for a prolonged occupation of the Persin Plateau and the Zagros Mountains comes from a combination of genetic, palaeoecological, and archaeological evidence by a team from multiple Italian Universities and including Professor Michael D. Petraglia, of the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

The team have presented their evidence in an open access paper in Nature Communications and explain it in a Griffith University news item: This study sheds new light on the complex journey of human populations, challenging previous understandings of our species’ expansion into Eurasia.
Pebdeh Cave excavation in the southern Zagros Mountains. Pebdeh was occupied by hunter-gatherers as early as 42,000 years ago.

Photo: Mohammad Javad Shoaee
The study, published in Nature Communications, highlights a period between 70,000 to 45,000 years ago when human populations did not uniformly spread across Eurasia, leaving a gap in our understanding of their whereabouts during this time frame.

Key findings from the research include:
  • The Persian plateau as a hub for early human settlement: Using a novel genetic approach combined with palaeoecological modelling, the study revealed the Persian plateau as the region where from population waves that settled all of Eurasia originated.
  • This region emerged as a suitable habitat capable of supporting a larger population compared with other areas in West Asia.
  • Genetic resemblance in ancient and modern populations: The genetic component identified in populations from the Persian plateau underlines its long-lasting differentiation in the area, compatible with the hub nature of the region, and is ancestral to the genetic components already known to have inhabited the plateau.
  • Such a genetic signature was detected thanks to a new approach that disentangles 40,000 years of admixture and other confounding events. This genetic connection underscores the plateau’s significance as a pivotal location for early human settlement and subsequent migrations.
Study co-author Professor Michael Petraglia, Director of Griffith University’s Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution, said the findings painted a much clearer picture of these early human movements.

Riverine landscape in the southern Zagros region providing fresh water resources for Homo sapiens populations.

Photo: Mohammad Javad Shoaee

Our multidisciplinary study provides a more coherent view of the ancient past, offering insights into the critical period between the Out of Africa expansion and the differentiation of Eurasian populations. The Persian plateau emerges as a key region, underlining the need for further archaeological explorations.

Professor Michael D. Petraglia, co-author
Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

The discovery elucidates a 20,000-year-long portion of the history of Homo sapiens outside of Africa, a timeframe during which we interacted with Neanderthal populations, and sheds light on the relationships between various Eurasian populations, providing crucial clues for understanding the demographic history of our species across Europe, East Asia, and Oceania.

Leonardo Vallini, fist author
Department of Biology
University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

The revelation of the Persian plateau as a hub for early human migration opens new doors for archaeological exploration, enriching our understanding of our species’ journey across continents and highlighting this region’s pivotal role in shaping human history.

Professor Luca Pagani, senior author
Department of Biology
University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
The study ‘The Persian Plateau served as Hub for Homo sapiens after the main Out of Africa dispersal’ has been published in Nature Communications.

A combination of evidence, based on genetic, fossil and archaeological findings, indicates that Homo sapiens spread out of Africa between ~70-60 thousand years ago (kya). However, it appears that once outside of Africa, human populations did not expand across all of Eurasia until ~45 kya. The geographic whereabouts of these early settlers in the timeframe between ~70-60 to 45 kya has been difficult to reconcile. Here we combine genetic evidence and palaeoecological models to infer the geographic location that acted as the Hub for our species during the early phases of colonisation of Eurasia. Leveraging on available genomic evidence we show that populations from the Persian Plateau carry an ancestry component that closely matches the population that settled the Hub outside Africa. With the paleoclimatic data available to date, we built ecological models showing that the Persian Plateau was suitable for human occupation and that it could sustain a larger population compared to other West Asian regions, strengthening this claim.


A growing body of evidence indicates that the colonisation of Eurasia by Homo sapiens was not a simple process, as fossil and archaeological findings support a model of multiple migrations Out of Africa from the late Middle Pleistocene and across the Late Pleistocene1,2,3,4,5,6. Traces of these early dispersals are also evidenced in the genome of our Neanderthal relatives, which illustrate interbreeding events as humans moved into Eurasia7,8,9,10. Early dispersals of our species were likely accompanied by population contractions and extinctions, though succeeded by a subsequent, large-scale wave at ~70–60 kya11,12,13,14,15, from which all modern-day non-Africans descend16,17.

The geographically widespread and stable colonisation of Eurasia appears to have occurred at ~45 kya through multiple population expansions associated with a variety of stone tool technologies18,19. Earlier incursions into Europe have been recorded20,21,22,23, however, they failed to leave a significant contribution to later populations. A chronological gap of ~20 ky between the Out of Africa migration (~70–60 kya) and the stable colonisation (~45 kya) of West and East Eurasia can be identified, for which the geographic location and genetic features of this population are poorly known. On the basis of genetic and archaeological evidence, it has been suggested that the Eurasian population that formed the first stable deme outside Africa after ~70–60 kya can be characterised as a Hub population18, from which multiple population waves emanated to colonise Eurasia, which would have had distinct chronological, genetic and cultural characteristics. It has also been surmised that the Hub population cannot be seen as simply the stem from which East and West Eurasians diverged. Instead, this was a more complex scenario, encompassing multiple expansions and local extinctions18. Previous studies, however, have failed to delve into the potential geographic location of this Hub population24, the overall scarcity of fossil evidence of Homo sapiens between 60 and 45 kya anywhere across Eurasia.

The aforementioned scenario was grounded in evidence stemming from ancient genomes from West and Central Eurasia25,26 and China27, indicating that the ancestors of present-day East Eurasians emerged from the Hub at ~45 kya (Fig. 1A, red branch). These emergent groups subsequently colonised most of Eurasia and Oceania, though these populations became largely extinct and were assimilated in West Eurasia28 by a more recent expansion that took place by ~38 kya (Fig. 1A, blue branch). The first of these two expansions, whose associated ancestry we name here the East Eurasian Core (EEC), left descendants in Bacho Kiro, Tianyuan, and most present-day East Asians and Oceanians. The second expansion, which we name the West Eurasian Core (WEC), left descendants in Kostenki14, Sunghir, and subsequent West Eurasians, and in the genome of palaeolithic Siberians29. Crucially, the Hub population accumulated some drift together with the WEC in the millennia that elapsed between the EEC and the WEC expansions (Fig. 1A, grey area). Despite its key role during the peopling of Eurasia, the geographic location and the genetic characteristics of the Hub population, remain obscure24. The outlined scenario is complicated by the need to account for the Basal Eurasian population (Fig. 1A, green), a group30 that split from other Eurasians soon after the main Out of Africa expansion, hence also before the split between East and West Eurasians. This population was isolated from other Eurasians and later on, starting from at least ~25 kya31,32, admixed with populations from the Middle East. Their ancestry was subsequently carried by the population expansions associated with the Neolithic revolution to all of West Eurasia.
Fig. 1: Relationship and legacy of the West and East Eurasian Core populations.
Summary of the major population events (A) and schematic representation of our reference space and expected position of admixed and unadmixed populations (B – note that this panel is a rotation of the blue and red portion of A); derived allele sharing of each ancient or modern individual/population with Kostenki14 and Tianyuan (C); East Asians in red, Oceanians in orange, Native Americans in pink, South Asians in yellow, Northern South Asians in green, West Eurasians in blue, Levantines in cornflowerblue, ancient samples in black (N stands for Neolithic, WHG for Western Hunter Gatherers). A graph with all populations analysed, and individual population names are in Supplementary Fig. 1, Source Data in Supplementary Data 3.
Given the current impossibility of directly inferring the homeland of the Hub population from fossil remains, here we combine available genetic evidence (including both ancient and present-day genomes) and palaeoecological models to infer the geographic region that acted as a Hub for the ancestors of all present-day non-Africans during the initial colonisation of Eurasia. With our work, we show that populations from the Persian Plateau carry an ancestry component that closely matches the population that settled the Hub outside Africa, therefore pointing to the Persian Plateau as suitable for human occupation throughout 60–40 kya, indirectly shedding light on the early interactions and admixture of our species with Neanderthals33 and the relationships between the main Eurasian and the elusive Basal Eurasian human population30 as well as informing on where future archaeological investigations should be focused.
The Persian Plateau, immediately to the east of Mesopotamia, from whence the authors of Genesis plagiarized a lot of their origin myths, would have been known to the Mesopotamians, but it seems no knowledge of it was transmitted to the Canaanite Hills where the Bronze Age authors of Genesis were making up their origin myths, or they might have incorporated the knowledge into their tales. But even the Mesopotamian written records don't go back to between 45,000 and 70,000 years ago so probably that knowledge had passed out of human memory by the time the Babylonians were writing about Gilgamesh and their pantheon of gods.

So the authors of Genesis had to make do with virtually no information about world or human history, and nothing at all about evolution in Africa and migration out into Eurasia via the Persian Plateau. Had they done so, they might have produced stories with at least a modicum of truth, but alas, all they could manage were the childish fairy tales that got incorporated into the Bible and declared to be the inerrant word of a god - making that god look more and more like either a massive liar or an ignoramus as science discovers more and more of the truth about human origins and the history of the planet.


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