The interior of Central Asia has been identified as a key route for some of the earliest hominin migrations across Asia in a new study led by Dr. Emma Finestone, Assistant Curator of Human Origins at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Research Affiliate of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
The study’s findings indicate that the steppe, semi-arid and desert zones of Central Asia were once favorable environments for hominins and their dispersal into Eurasia.
An interdisciplinary team of scholars from institutions that span four continents set out to expand the limited knowledge of early hominin activity in the Central Asian lowlands. The team included Dr. Paul Breeze and Professor Nick Drake from Kings College London, Professor Sebastian Breitenbach from Northumbria University Newcastle, Professor Farhod Maksudov from the Uzbekistan Academy of the Sciences, and Professor Michael Petraglia from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.
“Central Asia connects several zones that played important roles in hominin dispersals out of Africa and through Asia” Dr. Finestone said. “Yet we know comparatively little about the early occupation of Central Asia. Most of the archaeological material is not dated and