Modern Humans Across the Planet
In the last 70 thousand years, modern humans successfully occupied the vast majority of the planet’s environments. The final push to become the most widespread species in the globe started with the departure of humans from Africa during the end of the Pleistocene, and spread across Europe, Asia, Australo-Melanesia, the Americas, and finally Polynesia. By 15 thousand years ago, all the major landmasses in the planet (Africa, Eurasia, Australia and Americas) were occupied by groups of hunter-gatherers specialized in a vast diversity of environments and exploiting many of the ecological niches occupied by humans today. During the last 10 thousand years, significant technological advances tied to the development and spread of agriculture across the planet allowed humans to occupy permanently all but the most remote areas of the planet. This chapter of human history is as complex as it is vast, and has been the focus of study of different scientific fields for centuries. HEADS was created to contribute to this discussion, by bringing together researchers and students focusing on a diversified number of questions related the intricate history of the human colonization of the planet.