Modern Human Ancestry at the Peripheries: A Test of the Replacement Theory

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Science  12 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5502, pp. 293-297
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5502.293

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The replacement theory of modern human origins stipulates that populations outside of Africa were replaced by a new African species of modern humans. Here we test the replacement theory in two peripheral areas far from Africa by examining the ancestry of early modern Australians and Central Europeans. Analysis of pairwise differences was used to determine if dual ancestry in local archaic populations and earlier modern populations from the Levant and/or Africa could be rejected. The data imply that both have a dual ancestry. The diversity of recent humans cannot result exclusively from a single Late Pleistocene dispersal.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed at Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan, 500 South State, Ann Arbor, MI 49109–1382, USA. E-mail: wolpoff{at}

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