Saturday, May 29, 2021

First Human Inhabitants of Australia

 From SciTechDaily:

The best path across the desert is rarely the straightest. For the first human inhabitants of Sahul — the super-continent that underlies modern Australia and New Guinea — camping at the next spring, stream, or rock shelter allowed them to thrive for hundreds of generations. Those who successfully traversed the landmarks made their way across the continent, spreading from their landfall in the Northwest across the continent, making their way to all corners of Australia and New Guinea.

By simulating the physiology and decisions of early way-finders, an international team* of archaeologists, geographers, ecologists, and computer scientists has mapped the probable “superhighways” that led to the first peopling of the Australian continent some 50,000-70,000 years ago. Their study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, is the largest reconstruction of a network of human migration paths into a new landscape. It is also the first to apply rigorous computational analysis at the continental scale, testing 125 billion possible pathways. (Read more.)


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