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The Great Migration:

The Spread of Anatomically

Modern Humans Across the World

Daniel Meatte
(Archaeology Program Manager at Washington State Parks)

(Photos and report by Jim Keffer)

On October 6, 2014, Dan Meatte, Archaeology Progran Manager at Washington State Parks amd member of the Puget Sound Knappers, delivered a lecture at the Capital Museum in Olympia, Washington. In the audience were several other members of the Puget Sound Knappers - Jim Smith, Jim Keffer, Barry Bonnell and Mich Hill.

This talk traced the evolution and spread of anatomically modern humans from southern Africa, some 80,000 years ago, into Europe, Asia, Australia and finally, the Western Hemisphere at the end of the last Ice Age (12,000 years ago). Numerous replica artifacts, weapons and tools were displayed during this presentation, affording the audience a chance to handle and examine this remarkable equipment up close. Samples of materials used to make the gear – bone, wood, minerals, sinew, pigments, feather, oils, grease, etc. – were also be displayed. Together, these items represent over 100,000 years of technological change.

What was most unique and interesting about Dan’s lecture was the information/evidence of migratory patterns provided based on recent studies of preserved human DNA from archaeological sites around the world. In the past archaeologists have relied primarily on artifacts to tell the story of mankind’s development and spread across the earth. With the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) - an international research effort to sequence and map the human genome -new light was shed on the timing of human dispersal around the world.”.

Genetic comparisons between modern humans, homo sapiens, and primitive hominid such as Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon are revealing startling new facts about evolution, development and migration of modern humans. Some of this information is drastically changing archaeologist views of mankinds evolution and our understanding will probably evolve even further in the future.

Here are some of Dan’s replica artifacts:

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©2010 J Keffer