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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article aims to provide an overview of the first movements of people into the major land masses of the world. It reviews two phases of population dispersal out of Africa: that by the hominins which began two million years ago and that by Homo sapiens about 150,000 years ago. It considers the contractions of populations caused by the last glacial maximum followed by the recolonization of lands once the climate ameliorated and then the peopling of the far north and addresses the peopling of the Americas and the Pacific Islands.

Keywords: population dispersal, land masses, Africa, hominins, Homo sapiens, glacial maximum, Americas, Pacific Islands

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