Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Environmental change during MIS4 and MIS 3 opened corridors in the Horn of Africa for Homo sapiens expansion

Viehberg, Finn A.; Just, Janna; Dean, Jonathan R.; Wagner, Bernd; Franz, Sven Oliver; Klasen, Nicole; Kleinen, Thomas; Ludwig, Patrick; Asrat, Asfawossen; Lamb, Henry F.; Leng, Melanie J.; Rethemeyer, Janet; Milodowski, Antoni E.; Claussen, Martin; Schäbitz, Frank


Finn A. Viehberg

Janna Just

Profile Image

Dr Jonathan Dean
Lecturer in Quaternary Science, Director of Education, Co-Deputy Head of School

Bernd Wagner

Sven Oliver Franz

Nicole Klasen

Thomas Kleinen

Patrick Ludwig

Asfawossen Asrat

Henry F. Lamb

Melanie J. Leng

Janet Rethemeyer

Antoni E. Milodowski

Martin Claussen

Frank Schäbitz


© 2018 The Authors Archaeological findings, numerical human dispersal models and genome analyses suggest several time windows in the past 200 kyr (thousands of years ago) when anatomically modern humans (AMH) dispersed out of Africa into the Levant and/or Arabia. From close to the key hominin site of Omo-Kibish, we provide near continuous proxy evidence for environmental changes in lake sediment cores from the Chew Bahir basin, south Ethiopia. The data show highly variable hydroclimate conditions from 116 to 66 kyr BP with rapid shifts from very wet to extreme aridity. The wet phases coincide with the timing of the North African Humid Periods during MIS5, as defined by Nile discharge records from the eastern Mediterranean. The subsequent record at Chew Bahir suggests stable regional hydrological setting between 58 and 32 kyr (MIS4 and 3), which facilitated the development of more habitable ecosystems, albeit in generally dry climatic conditions. This shift, from more to less variable hydroclimate, may help account for the timing of later dispersal events of AMH out of Africa.


Viehberg, F. A., Just, J., Dean, J. R., Wagner, B., Franz, S. O., Klasen, N., …Schäbitz, F. (2018). Environmental change during MIS4 and MIS 3 opened corridors in the Horn of Africa for Homo sapiens expansion. Quaternary science reviews, 202, 139-153.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 4, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 29, 2018
Publication Date Dec 15, 2018
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 4, 2018
Journal Quaternary Science Reviews
Print ISSN 0277-3791
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 202
Pages 139-153
Keywords Archaeology; Archaeology; Global and Planetary Change; Geology; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Oct 4, 2018


You might also like

Downloadable Citations