Early Homo sapiens migrated into Europe in three waves, as shown by the stone implements.

The first present-day people spread across Europe in quite a while during the Paleolithic, as per a review distributed May 3, 2023, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ludovic Slimak of the CNRS and College of Toulouse III, France.

The Paleolithic European archaeological record raises a lot of unanswered questions about how and when modern humans arrived in the area and how they interacted with the Neanderthal populations that were already there. In order to trace the chronology of early human activity in western Eurasia, Slimak compared records of stone tool technology.

This concentration essentially centered around the near examination of a huge number of stone devices from two locales: Ksar Akil in Lebanon and Grotte Mandrin in France recently revealed the 54,000-year-old European migration of Homo sapiens. The study looked at their exact technical connections to the continent’s earliest modern technologies. The author suggests that three distinct waves of Homo sapiens migration across Europe followed a similar pattern of three technological phases in both regions.

The paper provides evidence for three distinct early migration waves from the East Mediterranean coast to Europe by Sapiens. Each of these Sapiens migrations is represented by three technical traditions in the image. The Neronian/Initial Upper Paleolithic represents Phase 1 around the 54th millennium; Phase 3 by the Protoaurignacian/Southern Early Ahmarian around the 42nd millennium; and Phase 2 by the Châtelperronian/Early Upper Paleolithic. Credit: Ludovic Slimak, CC-BY 4.0 (

These trans-Mediterranean mechanical associations consider a reevaluation of the example of human appearance in Europe and its exact relations with the Levantine district. As Homo sapiens spread across the region and gradually replaced Neanderthals, a clearer picture of the sequence of events will emerge from further examination of these apparent phases of human migration.

“Until 2022, it was thought that Homo sapiens had reached Europe between the 42nd and 45th millennia,” Slimak adds. What was previously thought to be known about the origin of Sapiens in Europe is fundamentally rewritten by the study, which demonstrates that the first migration of Sapiens would actually be the final of three major waves to the continent. Chatelperronian culture, quite possibly the earliest present-day custom in western Europe and from that point forward ascribed to Neanderthals, ought to, as a matter of fact, signal the second rush of Homo sapiens relocation in Europe, influencing profoundly how we might interpret the social association of the last Neanderthals.”

More information: The three waves: Rethinking the structure of the first Upper Paleolithic in Western Eurasia, PLoS ONE (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277444

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