Re: puzzle of the negrito: isolated archaic populations

Philip Deitiker (
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 22:24:30 GMT (Dan Barnes) wrote:

>In article <594c9i$>, says...
>> (Dan Barnes) wrote:
>>>Of course the new dates for H.e. (27 to 53 ka) in Java throws a different light
>> on
>>>this. There may have been a degree of temporal overlap.
>>About 20 minutes after I sent the posting in I read about this in the
>>newspaper. As usual I have 2 responses to the new find and
>>datings,(without debating the quality of the find)
>>1. The initial datings are usually off the value, tend to overdate
>>artifiacts, probably in the next 6 mos to a year a correct date will
>>be found.

>I've had a look at them and spoken to Jack Rink and think these dates are valid
>(see post further down). I do feel that, at least in the case of ESR and U-series,
>it is inaccurate to say the dates are disproved in 6 months. Although there is
>much arguement about the correct chronology to use in the Levant (which I'm
>speaking about at a conference here tomorrow) the validity of these dates has
>not been disproved just the resolution. Of course I could easily be wrong.

Actually, replace my word 'correct' with 'accurate'. If I catch the
controversy correctly in this particular case (h.e. Java c.40KYA)
there is an issue whether the dated minerals might have been deposited
at some later point, the basic problem is that many of the datings are
not of the find itself but of the material surrounding the find. Thus
the problem of making sure that the sample layer was in fact the right
layer. I certainly hope the techiques have improved in the last few
years I can recollect three or four instances where redating shows the
original datings to be off by 60% or so.

>>2. Even without correct dating the new find demonstrates the
>>differences between ancient and modern forms indicating that
>>interbreeding was unlikely. If the new finds showed an intermediate
>>form then a strong case for argumentation would be present.

>But since they are H.e. and are possibly at least as old and perhaps younger
>than the proposed AMHs in this part of the world breaking another
>ancestor/descendent model that would be needed for Multiregionalism to
>explain hominid features.

That's right. This model really took several hits over the last 18 mos
and I suspect no-one really takes it seriously anymore. What needed to
be seen in this find was a intermediate skeletal characterisitics.

>>The real intriquing question is why after several 100K years of
>>presence that this hominid did not dominate the region, to the extent
>>that H. Sapiens would be challenged upon arrival? The overlap with
>>neaderthalensis was apparently much longer. Why didn't neaderthals
>>move into the region before humans and overtake the territory?

>I'm not to sure which region this is. Ns would have had trouble competing in SE
>Asia and Africa because of the heat. It was only during cooler periods (OIS 6
>and 4) that they were able to enter the Levant and (pos.) displace AMHs,
>perhaps in a SEerly direction.

True, but there are similar regions in more northeastern asia, but
this area also lacks N presence. Certainly one can draw up scenarios
in east asia where during the glacial peaks there are regions suitible
in neaderthals in asia. With the lack of sapien competition to the
south the possibility exists that Ns could have undergone regional
evolution toward a more adaptable form suitable for more tropical
climates (i.e. loose body hair, reduce size, etc). Judging the fate of
neaderthals in the levant and europe I don't think the issue of
overall mental capability is really most germane to the issue (since N
~ S). More likely how directly competitive (meaning ability for one
group to displace another) these two species are in comparison to one
another. I think the data may be telling us something else about the
humans that migrated out of africa, and that is they were more
aggresive (in the physical sense) in the use of their intelligence
compared to these 2 other species. FWIW.