Modern human origins

Fred H. Smith, Anthony B. Falsetti, Steven M. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


During the past decade or so, considerable new data pertinent to the origin of modern humans have come to light. Based on these new data and reinterpretation of older information, three models have been offered to explain the development of modern people. These models—Bräuer's Afro‐European sapiens hypothesis, Stringer and Andrew's recent African evolution model, and Wolpoff, Wu, and Thorne's multiregional evolution model—have their roots in earlier models but differ from most by virtue of their worldwide perspective and integration of genetic and paleoanthropological data pertinent to modern human origins. This review presents a detailed discussion of these data in light of the three models. While convincing arguments can be offered for each of these models, it is concluded that none are unequivocally supported by the available data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-68
Number of pages34
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Issue number10 S
StatePublished - 1989


  • Archaic Homo sapiens
  • Modern Homo sapiens
  • Paleoanthropology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology


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