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Paleorivers across Sahara may have supported ancient human migration routes

ScienceDaily (September 11, 2013)

Paleorivers across Sahara may have supported ancient human migration routes

ScienceDaily (September 11, 2013)

Three ancient river systems, now buried, may have created viable routes for human migration across the Sahara to the Mediterranean region about 100,000 years ago.

Simulated probability of surface water during the last interglacial. Credit : Coulthard TJ, Ramirez JA, Barton N, Rogerson M, Brücher T (2013)

Simulating paleoclimates in the region, the researchers found quantitative evidence of three major river systems that likely existed in North Africa 130,000-100,000 years ago, but are now largely buried by dune systems in the desert. When flowing, these rivers likely provided fertile habitats for animals and vegetation, creating ’green corridors’ across the region. At least one river system is estimated to have been 100 km wide and largely perennial. The Irharhar river, westernmost of the three identified, may represent a likely route of human migration across the region. In addition to rivers, the researchers’ simulations predict massive lagoons and wetlands in northeast Libya, some of which span over 70,000-square kilometers.

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Page publiée le 8 août 2014, mise à jour le 24 décembre 2015