Most scientists think that we all descend from people who lived in Africa between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago – the 'Out-of-Africa' theory. These first modern humans spread around the world, eventually replacing all the other types of humans, according to the theory. Evidence from DNA from living people suggests that present-day humans spread from Northeast Africa to China, then went on to Australia, Europe, the Americas and Polynesia.
Evidence from DNA?
How can fossils tell us about the movement of ancient humans?
Fossils from ancient human populations can be examined using radioisotope dating. This method measures natural radioactivity to determine how long ago the fossils were buried. This information can be used to plot the movement of human populations. Combined with DNA analysis, linguistics and archaeology, fossil evidence is revealing how and when humans populated the planet.