“Out of Africa I”: Current Problems and Future Prospects

  • Robin Dennell
Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)


This paper examines current weaknesses in the Out of Africa I model, and indicates why it is less robust than often proposed. It examines the main gaps in our understanding of hominin dispersals and settlement in Asia before 0.5 Ma, and highlights those shortcomings that have a realistic chance of being rectified, and which most impede fruitful discussion of early Asian prehistory. It also proposes that any discussion of early hominin dispersals out of (and possibly into) Africa before 0.5 Ma needs to take much fuller account than has often been the case of recent data on climatic change across southern Asia.


Asia Colonization Dispersal Homo erectus Pleistocene Pliocene 



I am extremely grateful to the organizers of the “Out of Africa I” workshop at Stony Brook in September 2005 for their invitation to the author to what proved to be an extremely hospitable and stimulating meeting. The British Academy is also thanked for granting the author a Research Professorship for the period 2003–2006 so that he could concentrate on researching early Asian prehistory. The comments and criticisms of two anonymous referees are also gratefully acknowledged.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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