Thursday, 10 May 2007

We are all Africans - even Australian aborigines

A DNA survey has just confirmed what archaeologists have been saying all along - that all humans came from Africa.

A fascinating report by scientists from Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin universities has proved that all Australia's aboriginal people are descended from one small group of modern humans who migrated out of Africa and spread out through Eurasia. More here

According to Science Daily, academics analysed the mitochondrial DNA Y chromosome DNA of Aboriginal Australians and Melanesians from New Guinea. 'This data was compared with the various DNA patterns associated with early humans.

'The results showed that both the Aborigines and Melanesians share the genetic features that have been linked to the exodus of modern humans from Africa 50,000 years ago.

'Until now, one of the main reasons for doubting the “Out Of Africa” theory was the existence of inconsistent evidence in Australia. The skeletal and tool remains that have been found there are strikingly different from those elsewhere on the “coastal expressway” – the route through South Asia taken by the early settlers.'

I find this notion so deeply touching: the idea that every person in the whole of the Americas, Asia, Europe and Australia, is descended from the same plucky group of individuals, perhaps just a single family, who picked up their stone tools and hotfooted it out of Africa 50 000 years ago. Can you imagine how resilient these individuals must have been? Can you imagine the stories they would have to tell, if we could meet them now and communicate with them?

This map of human migration (from Wikipedia) just blows me away.

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