eiled beneath the Persian Gulf, a once-fertile landmass may have supported some of the earliest humans outside Africa some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago, a new review of research suggests.
At its peak, the floodplain now below the Persian Gulf would have been about the size of Great Britain, and then shrank as water began to flood the area.
Then, about 8,000 years ago, the land would have been swallowed up by the Indian Ocean, the review scientist said.
The study, which is detailed in the December issue of the journal Current Anthropology, has broad implications for aspects of human history.
For instance, scientists have debated over when early modern humans exited Africa, with dates as early as 125,000 years ago and as recent as 60,000 years ago (the more recent date is the currently accepted paradigm), according to study researcher Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in the U.K.
“I think Jeff’s theory is bold and imaginative, and hopefully will shake things up,” said Robert Carter of Oxford Brookes
University in the U.K. in an e-mail to LiveScience. “It would completely
rewrite our understanding of the out-of-Africa migration. It is far from
proven, but Jeff and others will be developing research programs
to test the theory.”