I. Genetics: Body Louse, Modern Human Origins, Clothing in Mossel Bay 170,000 years ago.


Clothing originated in Mossel Bay 170,000 years ago - By Advocate De Waal Lubbe

A short report in Popular Mechanics, May 2011, under the heading Of Lice and Men, it was said that researchers found that clothes first appeared in Africa as early as 170,000 years ago - roughly at the rapid onset of an ice age. This prompted me to investigate and to my utter amazement, I found what is reported hereunder.

A University of Florida Lice DNA study, shows that Humans first wore clothes 170,000 years ago.

Studying Molecular Evolution of Pediculur Humanus (Body Lice) and the origin of clothing, Ralf Kittler, Manfred Kayser and Mark Stoneking, a geneticist of the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, Germany, 19th August 2003, found that human head louse and body louse are strict, obligate human ectoparasites that differ mainly in their habitat on the host.  the head lice lives and feeds exclusively on the scalp, whereas the body louse feeds on the body but lives in clothing.   

They found that this ecological differentiation arose when humans adopted frequent use of clothing, an important event in human evolution, for which there is no direct archaeological evidence. 

Their study results further indicated greater diversity in African, than non-African lice, suggesting an African origin of human lice. They then estimated that body lice originated +- 107,000 years ago in Africa, and that the mtDNA sequences also indicate a demographic expansion of body lice, that correlates with the spread of modern humans, out of Africa.

These results, in 2003, strongly suggests that clothing was a surprisingly recent innovation if human evolution.

In an article that appeared on the 1st of May 2011,  Science Daily, University of Florida News, a new study, following the evolution of lice, shows Modern Humans started wearing clothes about 170,000 years ago.

Principle investigator, David Reed, with study co-authors, Melissa Toups, Indiana University, Andrew Kitchen, Pennsylvania State University, Jessica Light, Texas A&M University (Formerly a post-doctoral fellow at the Florida Museum), used DNA sequencing to calculate when clothing lice first began to diverge genetically from human lice.  

"We wanted to find another method for pinpointing when humans might have first started wearing clothing. Because they are so well adapted to clothing, we know that body lice or clothing lice most certainly didn't exist until clothing came about in humans.  Applying unique data sets from lice to human evolution has only developed within the last 20 years, and provides information that could be used in medicine, evolutionary biology, ecology or any number of fields. It gives the opportunity to study host-switching and invading new hosts, - behaviours seen in emerging infections deceases that affect humans," Reed said.

Referring to the 2003, Mark Stoneking, Max Planck Institute findings, Reed points out that their research includes new data and calculation methods, better suited for such a study.

The new result from this lice study is an unexpectedly early date for clothing, much older than the earlier solid archaeological evidence.  According to Ian Gilligan, lecturer in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at The Australian National University, this makes sense because he says Modern Humans probably started wearing clothes on a regular basis to keep warm when they were exposed to the ice age conditions.

The above amazing, totally different field of genetic findings corresponds 100 % with the findings of the International Team, headed by prof. Curtis Marean, from the Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University. Their excavations of a series of caves at Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay, revealed occupation by middle Stone Age people 170,000 year ago, where the earliest evidence of the systematic exploitation of marine resources (Shell fish), symbolic behaviour, evidence of heat treatment, of rock to make stone tools, and the use of ochre to beautify, have been documented.

From prof. Marean's studies, it appears and is believed that between 400-700 of these early modern thinking men and women, survived the ice age here in Mossel Bay, which was habitable due to the known mild climate, by eating roots, seeds, etc. of the very hardy, diverse plant species, and then shell fish as protein.  Shell fish is believed to may have been crucial to the survival of these early humans as they roamed the coastline of Mossel Bay.

Harsh climate conditions nearly extinguished our species, but these Mossel Bay men and women survived, by exploiting the unique combination of resources on offer along our coast. Their predominantly shell fish protein diet, rich in Omega, played a substantial role in enlarging the brain and intelligence.  To add to this amazing story of Mossel Bay, is that this is where people started wearing clothes, which helped them to be the only ones to have survived.  This technology which enabled them to migrate throughout Africa, and later successfully migrate out of Africa, to conquer the whole world.

Mossel Bay then, truly is the Origin Of Modern Humans, the Historical Capital of the World, where Humanity survived by the skin of their teeth, where Human Population Bottlenecked, where the Great Leap Forward / the Big Bang of Human Consciousness occurred, the Origin of Modern Thinking Man, the true / real Garden of Eden, and where all the languages of the world come and derive from.