5. Migration

Introduction to Migration
Mankind is a migrating animal: we have become the species we are through ancient patterns of migration, in response to the need for new hunting grounds, climate change, and other factors that encouraged mass movement. An anthropological understanding of man as a a migrating animal can help us to put migration into a long-term developmental perspective.

Out of Africa: looking at the migration patterns of early human beings.  The series by Dr Alice Roberts tracing the migrations of human beings from Africa to populate the rest of the globe can serve as a useful introduction to the theme of migration. The anthropological view of migration presented in these documentaries is that human beings are migrating animals: our very existence is due to our ability to migrate and discover new hunting grounds, new pastures, and a more friendly environment in times of climatic change. In class we have watched some selected parts but you may want to watch whole episodes for your own interest, so here are the links to the videos.

Episode 1: Out of Africa This is the main episode that we used in class, showing the ‘Out of Africa’ hypothesis of human migration, together with an explanation of the DNA evidence that all non-Africans can trace their ancestry back to a single group who left Africa about 90,000 years ago.

Episode 2: Asia The episode with the illustration of nomadic lifestyle (primitive migration) among the Siberian folk whose lives depend upon reindeer herds.

Episode 3: Europe The story of European migration. The fate of the Neanderthals when the new human arrivals populated Europe.

Other episodes that were not used in class:

Episode 4: Australia

Episode 5: The Americas

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