Synchronising palaeontological and genetic evidence to prove the Out-Of-Africa theory

Dipl.Dolm. Elisabeth Hamel

Ever since the birth of modern anthropology, two theories explaining the more recent origin of mankind have evolved: the former multi-regional-evolution model and the later out-of-Africa theory. Latest skeletal findings move researchers to state that the origin of Neandertal man and Homo sapiens sapiens is situated in Africa and nowhere else. But sceptical scienists continued levelling criticism, until data obtained from newest genetic experiments led scientists to formulate the dazzling out-of-Africa theory and to elucidate this topic quite clearly. Results from DNA-analyses on mitochondrial DNA together with new statistical methods seem to deliver accurate proof that all Homo sapiens may look back to a common origin, even stating when the separation took place. The following article aims to contribute to a deeper appriciation of archaeological findings and recent genetic analyses by decribing and comparing steps which have been taken in both fields of science on the way down the evolutionary ladder and are subject to review in the light of the evidence.