Research Indicates Where Our Ancestors Migrated From

Scientists succeeded in exploring and analyzing the geographical area where the first ancestors of modern humans migrated from almost 200,000 years ago. Their study determined the ancestral home territory and “cradle of mankind” of all living humans to a broad region of wetland that resembles modern Botswana. The surface is described as an oasis where life developed well and became a focal spot of anatomically contemporary people, ancestor of humans, for approximately the past 70,000 years.

Moreover, the study also indicates how a group of early modern people stayed in that territory, conducting their lives comfortably off the land. They later encountered some climate changes that influenced their lives. The region was also affected because of the appearance of rains to the northeast area and southwest, making lush corridors that permit our ancestors to migrate somewhere else. Geneticist and senior author of the study, Professor Vanessa Hayes, offers some insights about the discovery by explaining the fact that the African territory was known to be the home of modern humans. The only thing left unknown was where exactly in Africa resided the people. She said, “The study enabled us to pinpoint the ancestral homeland of all humans. It is the first time the exact location has been identified.”

Scientists based their conclusions on 1,217 samples of mitochondrial DNA, the genetic substance in small battery-like mitochondria discovered in many cells. Also, almost all of the DNA analyzed originated from people living in South Africa. Professor Hayes added, “The first migrants ventured northeast, followed by a second wave of migrants who traveled southwest. A third population remained in the homeland until today.”

Scientists explained how the first discovered group of humans migrated to an area with dense vegetation, followed by a second group who went southwest almost 20,000 years later when the rainfall increased. The first ones became a farming population, and the second, coastal foragers.

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