News24

Aborigines were first explorers

2011-09-23 10:22

Washington - An international team of scientists has sequenced the genome of an Australian Aboriginal man and reported on Thursday that his ancestors likely explored the Earth earlier than those of modern Asians.

The findings in the US journal Science shed new light on the waves of migration by humans out of Africa, and suggest that Aboriginals were descended from rare and brave adventurers that moved on 24 000 years earlier than the rest.

"Aboriginal Australians descend from the first human explorers," said lead author Eske Willerslev from the University of Copenhagen.

"While the ancestors of Europeans and Asians were sitting somewhere in Africa or the Middle East, yet to explore their world further, the ancestors of Aboriginal Australians spread rapidly; the first modern humans traversing unknown territory in Asia and finally crossing the sea into Australia.

"It was a truly amazing journey that must have demanded exceptional survival skills and bravery."

Evidence

The findings were based on the analysis of a 100-year-old lock of hair donated to a British anthropologist by an Aboriginal man from the Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Researchers sequenced the DNA and found "no genetic input from modern European Australians", which they believe shows that Aborigines moved through Asia and into Australia in a first and separate wave.

The evidence suggests "the ancestors of the Aboriginal man separated from the ancestors of other human populations some 64-75,000 years ago... before finally reaching Australia about 50,000 years ago," said the study.

The genetic history of Australians has been difficult to pin down because scientists have lacked access to DNA from fossilised bones such as those found from Neanderthals and Denisovans in cold caves in Europe and Russia, where DNA can be preserved.

The latest study establishes Aboriginals as "one of the oldest continuous populations outside of Africa" as well as the "population with the longest association with the land on which they live today", it said.

Comments
  • George - 2011-09-23 10:53

    They had peace and tranquility until the so called white man arrived and nearly wiped them off the face of the earth. There must be a special place in hell for genocidal races.

      DoublySalmon - 2011-09-23 10:57

      umm. Sure. Aboriginal people can continue living as before, who forces them to do anything they don't choose themselves? You think they had a peaceful tranquil life? Get of your hippie kite and get in touch with earth because that is simply not true.

      NWO - 2011-09-23 13:00

      Those genocidal races are basically everyone on earth, white black yellow and orange. Who's to say that they themselves did not wipe out some other group of people on their travels down under?

      Delusion - 2011-09-23 13:05

      True George, Our King Shaka was a champion mass murderer brutal genicidal monster. So is Rob Mugabe, Idi Amin, etc. etc.

      MR. Pretorius - 2011-09-23 13:52

      In South Africa, the Bushmen were hunted and killed by Nguni Tribes moving south in search of new grazing. The Nguni tribes like the Zulu and the Xhosa, originally came from central Africa and are not indigenous to South Africa Race has nothing to do with it. It is human nature

      marinella.fogli - 2011-09-25 00:21

      GEORGE .... try to read about where we were born ... and stop racism! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

      Bram - 2012-01-26 10:56

      Yawn!

  • Pupuzela - 2011-09-23 11:28

    Talk about going walk-about.

  • Pedro Motho - 2011-09-23 12:05

    We as Africans have always known that. They should have left us in our primitive lifestyle living as God has created it in the gardern of Eden.This western lifestyle has messed up. PIGS (Portugal, Ireland,Greece, Spain) are in trouble with all that white might,riches,intelligence ,etc. Who brought the guns in Africa?

      NWO - 2011-09-23 13:07

      I almost fully agree with you: They should have left you alone in your cave. I would then have come along and drawn a charcoal keyboard on your rock wall and you could still have believed that your opinion mattered. The human race is moving forward, whatever the cost. How many tribes were wiped out in Africa BY Africans? Stop blaming the white man for your inadequacies.

      Delusion - 2011-09-23 13:08

      So what are you driving Motho? And this comupter and internet connection you used to type this message? Double standards Motho?

      Felix - 2011-09-23 14:26

      I take it mentioning primitive lifestyles, God & western lifestyles was part of your troll. #goodjob!

      Bram - 2012-01-26 10:57

      Yawn again

  • AntonioP - 2011-09-23 15:20

    "The genetic history of Australians has been difficult to pin down" But I thought they were all UK-convicts; shipped to the other side of the earth!

  • AntonioP - 2011-09-23 15:39

    Aborigines, from bio-anthropologist view, are a fascinating breed. Even if their total brain-mass is significantly smaller than of others, their visual cortex is massive. They are able to take in details of the landscape that we even can't see when pointed out. And they can remember these minute aspects of their surroundings, in great amounts, for a very long time. Aborigines simply never get lost -even in a completely featureless desert.

      CTScientist - 2011-09-24 11:32

      Significantly smaller? Elaborate.

      bmpdragon - 2011-09-24 14:42

      CTScientist: AntonioP is referring to an article written in 1987 and published in the Journal of Anatomy (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1261675/). Personally, I find the data set used too small for any kind of statistical significant result. The aforementioned article has also been used in a large number of eugenically themed websites (normally racist, fascist and reprehensible in content).

  • marinella.fogli - 2011-09-25 00:11

    FOR EVERYONE .... DID YOU KNOW ABOUT PANGEA??????? A supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras about 250 million years ago, before the component continents were separated into their current configuration. The name was coined during a 1927 symposium discussing Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift. In his book The Origin of Continents and Oceans (Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane) first published in 1915, he postulated that all the continents had at one time formed a single supercontinent which he called the "Urkontinent", before later breaking up and drifting to their present locations. The single enormous ocean which surrounded Pangaea was accordingly named Panthalassa.

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