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The evolutionary story of modern humans just got more complicated
Four years ago, the story of modern human origins seemed fairly simple. Modern humans originated in Africa sometime around 200,000 years ago. Some modern people spread into other parts of the world sometime after 100,000 years ago, mixing a bit with archaic human groups they met along the way.
New discoveries have shown just how oversimplified this picture was. The common ancestors of today’s modern humans lived a lot earlier than we thought, and we can’t connect them to the fossil record. They were far from alone: Africa was full of other groups, now extinct, and some of them mixed Neanderthal-like into living populations