According to scientists, all modern people can descend from people in what is now Botswana.
Researchers think that for the first time they are the & cradle of humanity & # 39; where the first modern people evolved before they spread around the world.
They are believed to flourish in the prehistoric Makgadikgadi – Okavango wetlands, just south of the Zambezi River.
A study of DNA records and migration patterns has proven, scientists say, that the genetic origins of all modern humans come from that region 200,000 years ago.
The wetland was a warm, lush, green garden of Eden where early people flourished before migrating when the climate became dry.
And direct descendants of these pioneers can still be found in the arid desert of Kalahari.
Researchers believe that this area, now the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, is where the last common ancestors of modern people around the world can be traced to
Scientists say that all genes of modern humans can be traced back to a population that lived in the prehistoric Makgadikgadi – Okavango wetlands, just south of the Zambezi River – the area is now the dry Makgadikgadi salt pan (photo) and most people migrated away when the climate changed there
Professor Vanessa Hayes discussed the significance of the region with Headman ǀkun ǀkunta from an extensive Ju / hoansi family – Ikun is one of more than 1,000 African people who allow their DNA to be analyzed to find out the roots of modern humans
& # 39; It has been clear for some time that anatomically modern people appeared in Africa about 200,000 years ago & # 39 ;, said the principal investigator, professor Vanessa Hayes.
& # 39; What has been debated for a long time is the exact location of this rise and the subsequent distribution of our earliest ancestors. & # 39;
Professor Hayes, from the University of Sydney, has studied the DNA of more than 1200 living African people to find out the origins of modern humanity.
She took samples from people called the KhoeSan, who live in rural Africa and who are known to be closest to the original human, and people who are genetically linked to them.
Her team was able to trace common ancestors from all different groups back to the Makgadikgadi area of Botswana, which they considered the origin of man.
The findings, published in the Nature magazine, add to existing geological and fossil evidence that proves that Lake Makgadikgadi was the home of early people.
In the past, scientists have suggested that smaller groups of people evolved in different places in Africa before they spread.
But Professor Hayes said the original people evolved in the Makgadikgadi – Okavango wetlands and stayed there for an enormous 70,000 years.
& # 39; There was a very large lake, & # 39; she said. & # 39; By the time modern people arrived, it broke into smaller ones – creating a wetland. & # 39;
And she claims that & # 39; green corridors & # 39; of vegetation from the wetlands, which developed from a lake twice as large as Lake 23,000 square kilometers in Tanzania and Uganda, allowing people to migrate to the northeast and southwest.
Professor Hayes and her colleagues suggest that since the climate changed some 130,000 years ago and the wetlands where people lived began to dry out, they moved to the northeast (blue and green arrows) and southwest (deep purple arrow) migrated) from Africa. The L0a, L0k and L0d1 & # 39; 2 are different variations of the original ancestral genes known as L0
People still live in the Makgadikgadi salt pans, Botswana. They are groups like these whose DNA gave scientists insight into how modern people can be born from populations in southern Africa. (Pictured: a group of Basarwa hunters / collectors go on an expedition to the salt pan together)
The researchers have traced different populations of the KhoeSan population that are known to be most closely related to the first modern human to emerge in Africa some 200,000 years ago
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT OUR ancestors?
Four major studies in recent times have changed the way we view our ancestral history.
The Simons Genome Diversity Project research
After analyzing DNA from 142 populations around the world, the researchers conclude that all modern people living today can trace their origins to a single group that emerged in Africa 200,000 years ago.
They also discovered that all non-Africans are descended from a single group that separated itself from the ancestors of African hunter-gatherers about 130,000 years ago.
The study also shows how people seem to have formed isolated groups in Africa with populations on the continent that separate.
The KhoeSan in South Africa, for example, separated from the Yoruba in Nigeria about 87,000 years ago, while the Mbuti separated from the Yoruba 56,000 years ago.
The Estonian Biocentre Human Genome Diversity Panel study
This examined 483 genomes from 148 populations around the world to investigate the expansion of Homo sapiens from Africa.
They discovered that the indigenous population in modern Papua New Guinea owes two percent of their genomes to a now extinct group of Homo sapiens.
This suggests that there was a clear wave of human migration from Africa about 120,000 years ago.
The Aboriginal Australian study
With the help of genomes from 83 Aboriginal Australians and 25 Papuans from New Guinea, this study investigated the genetic origins of these early Pacific populations.
It is thought that these groups are descended from some of the first people to leave Africa and have raised questions about whether their ancestors came from an earlier wave of migration than the rest of Eurasia.
The new study found that the ancestors of modern Aboriginal Australians and Papuans separated from Europeans and Asians about 58,000 years ago after a single migration from Africa.
These two populations themselves diverged about 37,000 years ago, long before the physical separation of Australia and New Guinea some 10,000 years ago.
Research into climate modeling
Researchers from the University of Hawaii in Mānoa used one of the first integrated climate-human migration computer models to recreate the spread of Homo sapiens in the past 125,000 years.
The model simulates ice ages, abrupt climate change and records the arrival times of Homo sapiens in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, South China and Australia in close accordance with paleoclimate reconstructions and fossil and archaeological evidence.
The discovery that modern man seems to have left Africa 100,000 years ago in a series of slow migration waves.
They estimate that Homo sapiens first arrived in Southern Europe about 80,000-90,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought.
The results challenge traditional models that suggest that there was a single exodus from Africa about 60,000 years ago.
Wetland is one of the healthiest ecosystems to sustain life and would have been abundant enough for the human species to settle.
The climate then changed, causing the country to dry out and become the wetlands, which is now a region of salt pans and desert – forcing people to migrate.
Professor Hayes said: & # 39; The first migrants moved to the northeast, followed by a second wave of migrants traveling to the southwest.
& # 39; A third population remained in their home country until today.
& # 39; Unlike the northeastern migrants, southwestern explorers seem to be thriving and experiencing steady population growth. & # 39;
Their success was most likely from adapting to foraging at sea – even learning how to brag seafood, including fish, with their hands.
Professor Hayes teaches how to make fire with Juǀ'hoansi hunters in the now-dried homeland of the greater Kalahari of Namibia
Professor Hayes' research is based on DNA studies of people living in southern Africa, which enabled them to track how closely people were related.
She studied something known as L0 mitochondrial DNA that people inherit from their mother.
& # 39; Mitochondrial DNA acts as a time capsule of our ancestral mothers that gradually accumulates changes for generations, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; Comparing the full DNA code, or mitogenome, of different individuals provides information on how closely they are related. & # 39;
Her international team collected blood samples from 1,217 people to compile an extensive catalog of the & # 39; L0 & # 39; line.
Professor Hayes said: & # 39; This allowed us to determine the ancestral homeland of all people. It is the first time the exact location has been identified. & # 39;
A TIME LINE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION
The timeline of human evolution can be traced back millions of years. Experts estimate that the family tree as such goes:
55 million years ago – First primitive primates evolve
15 million years ago – Hominidae (great apes) evolve from the ancestors of the gibbon
7 million years ago – First gorillas evolve. Later chimp and human lines diverge
A recreation of a Neanderthal is shown
5.5 million years ago – Ardipithecus, early & # 39; proto-human & # 39; shares properties with chimpanzees and gorillas & # 39; s
4 million years ago – Monkey like early people, the Australopithecines appeared. They had brains no larger than those of a chimpanzee, but other, more human traits
3.9-2.9 million years ago – Australoipithecus afarensis lived in Africa.
2.7 million years ago – Paranthropus, lived in forests and had huge jaws to chew
2.6 million years ago – Hand axes become the first major technological innovation
2.3 million years ago – Homo habilis first thought to have appeared in Africa
1.85 million years ago – First & # 39; modern & # 39; hand appears
1.8 million years ago – Homo ergaster begins to appear in fossils
800,000 years ago – Early people control fire and create fireplaces. The brain size is increasing rapidly
400,000 years agoO – Neanderthals appear for the first time and spread across Europe and Asia
300,000 to 200,000 years ago – Homo sapiens – modern people – appear in Africa
50,000 to 40,000 years ago – Modern people reach Europe
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