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The Original Dwelling Place…

A team of researchers has claimed that all modern humans might have descended from people in what is now Botswana. According to a research paper published in The Nature, the genetic root of all modern humans comes from that particular region 200,000 years ago!
So far, the exact location of the Ancestral Home of modern man has not been found. In the past, the researchers assumed on the basis of the physical structure (anatomically) that modern men (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) first arrived in Africa. However, the specific birthplace of our species remained unknown!

Botswana Map.jpg

Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, with a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta. The researchers have claimed that it is the birthplace of our ancestors… Earlier, the researchers from University of Sydney collected DNA samples from 200 Khoisan people. Khoisan is a catch-all term for the non-Bantu indigenous peoples of Southern Africa, especially of the South African Cape region and Namibia.

The Khoisan People.jpg
The Khoisan People

While studying the DNA, they found abundance of something known as ‘L0 Mitochondria’ in those DNA, which people inherit from their mother. Then, the researchers compared the data from DNA tests with other important data, such as geographical location, archaeological changes, the impact of climate change, etc., which helped them prepare a genetic timeline. They also discovered that the L0 DNA was present near the Zambezi River area 200,000 years ago!
Talking to the media, Lead Researcher and Professor at the University of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research Vanessa Hayes said that the original humans had evolved in the Makgadikgadi-Okavango wetland and remained there for nearly 70,000 years. “There was a very large lake. By the time modern humans arrived, it was breaking up into smaller ones – creating a wetland,” she stressed.

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Professor Vanessa Hayes discussing the significance of the region with Headman Kun Kunta from an extended Ju’hoansi family.

According to Hayes, green corridors of vegetation grew out of the wetland developed from the lake, and the size of the lake was twice of the 23,000sqml Lake Victoria in Tanzania and Uganda. These green corridors had allowed people to migrate north-east and south-west. The Lead Researcher further said: “A third population remained in the homeland until today. In contrast to the north-easterly migrants, the south-westerly explorers appear to flourish, experiencing a steady population growth.


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A map showing the relative dates at which humans arrived in the different Continents, including Europe 45,000 years ago

Meanwhile, Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum is of the opinion that one should not come to a conclusion on the basis of the latest research. “And, like so many other studies that concentrate on one small bit of the genome, or one region, or one stone tool industry, or one ‘critical’ fossil, it cannot capture the full complexity of our origins,” he said. “These and many other data suggest we are an amalgam of ancestry from different regions of Africa,” insisted Dr Stringer.

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