Geology points to the path most chosen

by | May 22, 2024, 5:00 PM | Earth Science

One of the most common questions faced by those of us who study other worlds is this, “What good is studying planets when we have issues here on Earth?”

Well, it turns out Earth happens to be a planet and sometimes geology can tell us really cool things about humanity. 

A new study in Nature Communications, led by Tristan Salles, looks at the historic geology of Australia and the once connected landmass that is now Papua and Papua New Guinea. This former continent is called Sahul, and this research shows how people could have entered through the North and migrated across Sahul over time. This model doesn’t so much point out “This is the route they traveled” as it points out that probabilities that humans took one route or another. 

Using these new models, the team can predict how hunter gathers were most likely to move across the landscape as the followed the paths of least resistance … and the best eats. The work is able to “predict” people were at sites known to have been occupied in the distant past and the next step is to see if future paleontology and archeology studies can use this work to uncover new sites occupied by our early ancestors.

I find myself again… just wanting to go fossil hunting.