Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Honours)


School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences


Sam Lin


Human dispersal is a prominent topic in archaeology and palaeoanthropology. The pathways through which our ancestors traversed and settled in remote comers of the world continue to be subjects of extensive debate. The presence of Initial Upper Paleolithic technology in No1them and Central Asia provides a timeline of our aiTival in the region. It is assumed that we reached these regions through a northern ai·c, adhe1ing to the arid and mountainous regions acting as 'baiTiers' to human dispersal. Previous studies have incorporated GIS analysis with revised paleoclimate and paleolake data, simultaneously with archaeological evidence, to prove that routes through these regions would have been possible druing the Late Pleistocene. Here, we re-evaluate the proposed conidors that would have facilitated human dispersal with more specific paleoclimatic data sourced from LoveCLIM hindcasting models. Along with the re-evaluation of GIS methods used in Least Cost Path modelling, we assess the viability of previously proposed conidors of human dispersal. The results of this project suggest that routes through the Junggar Basin would have been hot spots for human dispersal, despite these routes lacking extensive ai·chaeological evidence to suppo1t hominin presence in the region during the Late Pleistocene. Therefore, further surveying in aiid regions holds the potential to illuminate the routes by which we anived in N 01them Asia, expand our understanding of human adaptability to extreme climates, and shed light on interactions between existing hominin populations and early Homo sapiens.

FoR codes (2020)

430101 Archaeological science, 430102 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas, 430106 Digital archaeology



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.