This quite non-technical paper argues that a model that sees human origins as older than conventionally assumed, and as the product of population structure, and hybridization between structured branches within our species and with archaic hominins who were contemporaneous with them, in a process that may have extended from all of Africa to West Asia, explores lots of ideas and raises many questions, but reaches few conclusions. It is a good introduction to some of the leading questions in the field of pre-Out of Africa human origins.
We challenge the view that our species, Homo sapiens, evolved within a single population and/or region of Africa. The chronology and physical diversity of Pleistocene human fossils suggest that morphologically varied populations pertaining to the H. sapiens clade lived throughout Africa. Similarly, the African archaeological record demonstrates the polycentric origin and persistence of regionally distinct Pleistocene material culture in a variety of paleoecological settings. Genetic studies also indicate that present-day population structure within Africa extends to deep times, paralleling a paleoenvironmental record of shifting and fractured habitable zones. We argue that these fields support an emerging view of a highly structured African prehistory that should be considered in human evolutionary inferences, prompting new interpretations, questions, and interdisciplinary research directions.
Eleanor M.L. Scerri, et al., "Did Our Species Evolve in Subdivided Populations across Africa, and Why Does It Matter?" 33(8) Trends Ecol Evol. 582 (August 2018) (open access).