Today, the Jordan Valley in the east of the Mediterranean Sea is a very dry, vegetation-free and rugged region. This route is by no means a good choice for walking; But According to a new studyEarly humans probably chose this route to leave Africa when they migrated to Eurasia.
Michael PetragliaArchaeologist from Australia’s Griffith University says: “The current rough and unfavorable environment of Syria and Arabia are important areas that the members of the human family, including the wise man, passed through when they left Africa and moved to Eurasia.”
Although this stretch of land is the only permanent land bridge in the region, researchers also believe that our ancient ancestors left Africa by way of the current Red Sea; Because during the glacial periods, the water level was lower and the climate of both coasts was much more favorable.
Mahmoud AbbasIn a recent study, a geologist from Shantou University and his group collected and analyzed 13 84,000-year-old sediment samples from several archaeological sites in the Jordan Valley. Stone tools discovered at one of the sites indicated that humans may have attempted this route at least once. In other studies, researchers have discovered a number of hand-made artifacts, footprints and human fossils from the same time period in caves around the area.
Also, the study of sediments shows that the landscape of the region was very different during the period of early human migration. The layers of sand were mixed with rich organic matter and mud containing roots and solids; This means that the vegetation of the area was rich in that period.
Such a clear change also indicates an increase in rainfall. The rains had turned the region into a series of wetlands in the midst of a vast land area and provided a suitable opportunity for mammals, including humans, to expand their territory.
Abbas explains that the emergence of vast grasslands and flat land instead of rugged, arid deserts provided humans with the resources they needed to survive during migrations out of Africa and southwest Asia and beyond.
“Sham served as a watery passage for modern humans to disperse out of Africa during the last interglacial period, and now we have proven that the route of this passage passes through the Kafti Valley region of Jordan,” Abbas added.
During the Middle Pleistocene to the Late Pleistocene, that is, around 129,000 to 71,000 years ago, humans tried many times to migrate from Africa to Eurasia; But all those efforts were not successful. However, at least some of those who probably migrated through the Jordan Valley may have become the ancestors of European and Asian humans.
“Our study shows the close relationship between climate change and human survival and migration,” adds Petraglia.
Study in the journal Science Advances It has been published.