Hydroclimate changes in eastern Africa over the past 200,000 years may have influenced early human dispersal
Schaebitz, Frank; Asrat, Asfawossen; Lamb, Henry F.; Cohen, Andrew S.; Foerster, Verena; Duesing, Walter; Kaboth-Bahr, Stefanie; Opitz, Stephan; Viehberg, Finn A.; Vogelsang, Ralf; Dean, Jonathan; Leng, Melanie J.; Junginger, Annett; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Chapot, Melissa S.; Deino, Alan; Lane, Christine S.; Roberts, Helen M.; Vidal, Céline; Tiedemann, Ralph; Trauth, Martin H.
Henry F. Lamb
Andrew S. Cohen
Finn A. Viehberg
Dr Jonathan Dean J.Dean2@hull.ac.uk
Director of Admissions for Geography, Environmental Science & Earth Science | Lecturer in Quaternary Science
Melanie J. Leng
Christopher Bronk Ramsey
Melissa S. Chapot
Christine S. Lane
Helen M. Roberts
Martin H. Trauth
Reconstructions of climatic and environmental conditions can contribute to current debates about the factors that influenced early human dispersal within and beyond Africa. Here we analyse a 200,000-year multi-proxy paleoclimate record from Chew Bahir, a tectonic lake basin in the southern Ethiopian rift. Our record reveals two modes of climate change, both associated temporally and regionally with a specific type of human behavior. The first is a long-term trend towards greater aridity between 200,000 and 60,000 years ago, modulated by precession-driven wet-dry cycles. Here, more favorable wetter environmental conditions may have facilitated long-range human expansion into new territory, while less favorable dry periods may have led to spatial constriction and isolation of local human populations. The second mode of climate change observed since 60,000 years ago mimics millennial to centennial-scale Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles and Heinrich events. We hypothesize that human populations may have responded to these shorter climate fluctuations with local dispersal between montane and lowland habitats.
Schaebitz, F., Asrat, A., Lamb, H. F., Cohen, A. S., Foerster, V., Duesing, W., …Trauth, M. H. (2021). Hydroclimate changes in eastern Africa over the past 200,000 years may have influenced early human dispersal. Communications Earth & Environment, 2(1), Article 123. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-021-00195-7
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Jun 1, 2021|
|Online Publication Date||Jun 14, 2021|
|Deposit Date||Jun 14, 2021|
|Publicly Available Date||Oct 27, 2022|
|Journal||Communications Earth & Environment|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||Limnology; Palaeoclimate; Palaeontology|
Publisher Licence URL
© The Author(s).
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.