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Journal Article

Spatio-temporal variations of climate along possible African-Arabian routes of H. sapiens expansion


Fischer,  Markus L.
External Organizations;

Munz,  Philipp M.
External Organizations;

Asrat,  Asfawossen
External Organizations;

Foerster,  Verena
External Organizations;

Kaboth-Bahr,  Stefanie
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Marwan,  Norbert
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Schaebitz,  Frank
External Organizations;

Schwanghart,  Wolfgang
External Organizations;

Trauth,  Martin H.
External Organizations;

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Fischer, M. L., Munz, P. M., Asrat, A., Foerster, V., Kaboth-Bahr, S., Marwan, N., Schaebitz, F., Schwanghart, W., Trauth, M. H. (2024): Spatio-temporal variations of climate along possible African-Arabian routes of H. sapiens expansion. - Quaternary Science Advances, 14, 100174.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_29752
Eastern Africa and Arabia were major hominin hotspots and critical crossroads for migrating towards Asia during the late Pleistocene. To decipher the role of spatiotemporal environmental change on human occupation and migration patterns, we remeasured the marine core from Meteor Site KL 15 in the Gulf of Aden and reanalyzed its data together with the aridity index from ICDP Site Chew Bahir in eastern Africa and the wet-dry index from ODP Site 967 in the eastern Mediterranean Sea using linear and nonlinear time series analysis. These analyses show major changes in the spatiotemporal paleoclimate dynamics at 400 and 150 ka BP (thousand years before 1950), presumably driven by changes in the amplitude of the orbital eccentricity. From 400 to 150 ka BP, eastern Africa and Arabia show synchronized wet-dry shifts, which changed drastically at 150 ka BP. After 150 ka BP, an overall trend to dry climate states is observable, and the hydroclimate dynamics between eastern Africa and Arabia are negatively correlated. Those spatio-temporal variations and interrelationships of climate potentially influenced the availability of spatial links for human expansion along those vertices. We observe positively correlated network links during the supposed out-of-Africa migration phases of H. sapiens. Furthermore, our data do not suggest hominin occupation phases during specific time intervals of humid or stable climates but provide evidence of the so far underestimated potential role of climate predictability as an important factor of hominin ecological competitiveness.