Interest in the processes by which human populations expanded from a presumed centre of origin in Africa to colonise the rest of the world has never been higher, thanks to new fossil, archaeological, palaeoclimatic and genetic data. Strong attention currently focuses on the Arabian Peninsula, and the proposal, stimulated by palaeogenetic interpretations, that Anatomically Modern Humans originating in East Africa dispersed rapidly across the southern end of the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula about 60 000 years ago, fuelled by new adaptations involving reliance on marine foods and seafaring, and culminating in the colonisation of New Guinea and Australia (Walter et al. 2000; Macaulay et al. 2005; Mellars 2006).
Via David Connolly