The Harvard Medical School/UCLA research team that created the map also used comparative genomics to make predictions about where Denisovan and Neanderthal genes may be impacting modern human
The paper will then compare the morphology of the earliest known specimens of Homo sapiens with Homo erectus and the earliest known fossil sequence of modern humans
from Australia, from the Willandra Lakes region, in order to establish if there is a 'mark of Ancient Java' indicating assimilation of Homo erectus by modern humans
Weaver's study builds on findings from a report he and his colleagues published last year in which the team compared cranial measurements of modern human
skulls and Neanderthal specimens.
Dr Manica said: "We believe modern humans
evolved in Africa between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago and remained there until 54,000 years ago.
A rival theory suggests that modern humans
evolved into their current form in a number of different locations around the world, not just Africa.
The researchers suggest that the unusual features were unlikely to have come from earlier modern humans
but were very likely to have come from Neanderthals.
Until now, scientists believed that the Neanderthals of Europe, who disappeared 33,000 years ago, were the last hominids to coexist with modern humans
A group of researchers, including University of Tokyo professor Gen Suwa, said the discovery -- made in the Ethiopian village of Herto in 1997 -- suggest that in the course of human evolution, modern humans
probably emerged from their ancestral stage in Africa.
Waters said these findings are a surprise because most researchers had thought sophisticated survival skills came into wide use among ancient human-like animals only with the appearance about 150,000 years ago of anatomically modern humans
Although this fossil had a brain only half the size of a modern human
being's, it was still comparatively advanced.
Or, to be more accurate (and less dramatic), it is changing our understanding of human history and how we modern humans
evolved in Africa and moved out of there.
Neandertals died out in Western Europe earlier than many scientists thought, between about 41,000 and 39,000 years ago, after interbreeding with modern humans
for a few thousand years, a new study suggests.