An exciting find has been made in the field, as ancient remains reveal that modern Africans have Eurasian genes in spite of previous estimations that they had little to no ancestry taken from outside their continent.
- It’s believed that humans migrated from Africa 60,000 years ago
- The Eurasian backflow was thought to have happened 3,000 years ago
- And yet, scientists found 4,500 year old remains of an African man with Eurasian genes
- They attribute 25% of modern day Africans’ genes to Eurasians
To begin with, it should be noted that early humans migrated from the birthplace of humanity, Africa, to other continents around 60,000 years ago. Thousands of years later, some of these populations migrated back, with the development of agriculture. This Eurasian backflow was dated to have happened around 3,000 years ago.
Researchers analyzed, documented and published their observations on a rare discovery. They found remains of a man that was dated back 4,500 years ago, in what is today Ethiopia.
It’s quite a rare and uncommon find, as DNA is difficult to remain intact in the arid conditions. This has made it a near difficult task for further investigation of remains on the African continent.
Through advanced technology that allowed the researchers to reconstruct the genome of the male, now called Mota, they found a key moment in history that has been slightly misinterpreted. By analyzing and comparing Mota’s DNA with modern Africans, the team found that there are Eurasian traits they still have in common today.
That has led them to the conclusion that the Eurasian backflow was not only earlier than suggested, but it was much, much more dense.
According to lead author of the paper, Andrea Manica, at the University of Cambridge, the huge wave of West Eurasians could have been as big as 30% of the population already living on the African continent at the time. And this impacting moment is still felt today.
As suggested by the study, around 25% of the East African population has Eurasian genes due to the massive migration from 4,500 years ago. Even others, in the western or southern areas of the continent have 5% of their genome attributed to Eurasian ancestors. This shed an incredible amount of light on evolutionary patterns and migrations from thousands of years ago.
And, it has also raised a number of questions. However, researchers have not been able to answer them all.
For one, it’s difficult to find out why such as massive backflow took part in the first place. They only have one skull for analysis, and, admittedly, tools of extracting and examining ancient DNA in Africa are not yet perfect. This stops them from officially putting this highly important discovery on the map of our evolutionary history.
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