The expansion of modern humans into South Asia appears to be part of a complex--at times fatal--story. Once modern humans (Homo sapiens) arrived in regions like India, the researchers argue that they would have met indigenous archaic hominids (such as Homo heidelbergensis). "While the precise explanations for the demise of the archaic populations is not yet obvious, it is abundantly clear that they were driven to extinction, likely owing to competition with modern humans over the long term," Petraglia said.
However, Petraglia and his graduate student Hannah James were not able to find any sign of a sudden "revolution" in modern human behaviour 50,000 years ago, an idea advocated by some researchers working in Africa and Europe. Instead, James said: "The archaeological evidence from South Asia indicates a diversity of behavioral responses in which explicitly symbolic artifacts were sometimes, but not always, produced."
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Petraglia, Michael; James, Hannah. "Modern Human Origins and the Evolution of Behavior in the Later Pleistocene Record of South Asia." Current Anthropology 46:5.
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