Models and Realities in Modern Human Origins: The African Fossil Evidence

Fred H. Smith

Abstract

The recent application of such chronometric techniques as electron spin resonance (ESR), thermoluminescence (TL), and uranium series dating has had a significant impact on perceptions of modern human origins. Claims for the presence of anatomically modern humans in Africa prior to 100 ka and for the transition leading to modern Africans at an even earlier date have been made, partly based on results of these techniques. However, a careful examination of the pertinent record shows that these claims are not unequivocally supported by the available fossil and chronological evidence.