The first humans appeared, not where previously thought

A new study says that the cradle of humanity or the birthplace of Homo Sapiens is not where previously thought. The paper was published in the journal Nature and was greeted by many researchers with skepticism. According to the authors of the study, the first anatomically modern humans appeared in the area, which lies to the South of the basin of the Zambezi in Northern Botswana in Africa. Today this district is dominated by salt pans, but once there was a huge lake, which may have been our first house 200 thousand years ago.

It looks like the area where according to the results of the study were the first people

Evolutionary milestones in the history of mankind

  • 400 000 years ago: Neanderthals are our evolutionary cousins — begin to appear and move through Europe and Asia
  • 300 000 — 200 000 years ago: Homo Sapiens — modern humans appear in Africa
  • 50 000 — 40 000 years ago: modern humans reach Europe.

What was the path of our ancestors?

Professor Vanessa Hayes, a geneticist from the medical Institute Garvan in Austria and lead author of the study believes that anatomically modern humans appeared in Africa approximately 200 thousand years ago and began to explore the area as soon as opened up a fertile green corridors, paving the way for future migrations from Africa. According to the results obtained by Professor Hayes, our ancestors lived in the area of Botswana for 70 thousand years and remained there until, until the local climate had not changed. Probably a huge system of lakes, known as lake Makgadikgadi, was of vast territories with a large amount of moisture, which actually provide suitable habitat for modern people and wildlife.

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After staying there for 70 thousand years, people have started to move on. Shifts in rainfall across the region has led to three waves of migration 130 thousand and 110 thousand years ago, caused by open corridors of green fertile land. The first migrants went to the North-East, and then followed by a second wave of migrants who went to the South-West, and the third part of the population remained at home. This scenario is based on tracing a family tree using hundreds of samples of mitochondrial DNA — section of DNA, which is inherited through the maternal line — from the living of Africans. Combining genetics with computer models of the Geology and climate, the researchers were able to draw a picture of what could be the African continent 200 million years ago.

Reconstruction of human history

However, the study was met with caution by other experts in this field. Some scientists believe that it is impossible to reconstruct the history of human origin based on mitochondrial DNA data. The results of previous studies say about human origins in East Africa.

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The debate about where the first people is unlikely to end soon

Professor Chris stringer from the natural history Museum in London, which is not associated with the study, said in an interview with BBC Newsthat the evolution of Homo Sapiens has been a complex process. Themselves of mitochondrial DNA, according to Stringer, are unable to reconstruct the only place of human origins. The fact that in this study, the researchers drew attention to the tiny part of the genome, and one she can’t tell you the whole story of our origin. Thus, the cradles of mankind could be many, and some of them scientists have yet to discover.

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