Essay on Describe and Briefly Discuss the Evidence That Supports the Claim That Modern Humans Originated in Africa

Published: 2021/12/24
Number of words: 589

Robert Harms, in his book Africa in Global History with Sources, provides evidence that modern human beings originated from Africa. Harms says that all human fossils that have over 2 million years of age were found only in Africa. A skeleton called Turkana boy was found in Northern Kenya in 1984 and was more of an ape than a human being. The skeleton is the earliest fossil that was classified as an early man by paleoanthropologists. The boy had died about 1.6 million years ago and was buried in the shores of Lake Turkana. The height of Turkana boy was 5 feet and 3 inches and had a brain capacity of 900 cc [1]. His anatomy and long legs made him look like a modern human being. Other similar skulls were found in Turkana and were dated 1.8 million years ago.

Need an essay assistance?
Our professional writers are here to help you.
Place an order

About 2 million years ago, human ancestors from Africa started migrating to other parts of the world. In Central Asia, Indonesia, and China, fossils that look like the Turkana boy were found and fated back to 1.8 million years. This implies that early humans migrated to Asia through the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is obvious that the fossils came from Africa because there have not been found records of early man.

Early humans are believed to have migrated from Africa to Europe. There is evidence that around 500,000 years ago, a skull looking like that of an early man was discovered in Europe. Heidelberg Man, also known as Homo heidelbergensis was discovered near a quarry in Heidelberg and was dated back in 500,000. Besides, a similar skull was discovered in Germany in 1905 and was dated 400,000 years ago. As well, similar skulls have been found in France, Greece, Spain, and Britain. This is evidence that the early man had traveled to such countries because in those regions there are no records of fossils of early man. In 1976, research was done and proved in 1997 when researchers in Eritrea and Ethiopia found remains looking like Heidelberg Man[2]. The researchers dated the fossils to 600,000 years ago. The majority of the fossils of Heidelberg Man were skulls without the skeleton. Heidelberg Man had a brain capacity of between 1,166 cc and 1,325 cc and that is close to that of modern human beings.

Worry about your grades?
See how we can help you with our essay writing service.

Numerous studies from 1987 show that the early human originated from Africa. The DNA studies of mitochondria reveal that there is a genetic lineage that goes back to the common female ancestors. The male ancestors were traced by performing Y chromosome DNA. After several studies were done, researchers found that fossils from different parts of the world had genetic ancestry from male and female ancestors that existed between 100,000 and 200, 000 years ago in Africa. Both the genetic and fossil evidence shows that modern humans came from Africa about 200,000 years ago. After 120,000 years ago, the humans from Africa started spreading to other parts of the world[3]. Besides, there is still genetic diversity in Africa. This may show that modern humans can continue improving and evolving.


Harms, Robert. Africa in Global History with Sources. WW Norton, 2018.

[1] Harms, Robert. Africa in Global History with Sources. WW Norton, 2018.

[2] Harms, Robert. Africa in Global History with Sources. WW Norton, 2018.

[3] Harms, Robert. Africa in Global History with Sources. WW Norton, 2018.

Cite this page

Choose cite format:
Online Chat Messenger Email
+44 800 520 0055