New genetic research has provided scientists with fresh insight on the rouge of early humans from Africa through Egypt. It shows that modern humans traveled north, out of Africa, through Egypt and not Ethiopia approximately 55,000 years ago.
Initially, scientists had believed that man’s route while spreading from the African continent had driven him through Ethiopia, crossing the Bab el Mandeb strait. This theory has been invalidated by a new study which analysed the genetic makeup of a multitude of populations living in the African continent.
According to the initial theory, modern humans who evolved in Africa began migrating towards Eurasia. This move is believed to have occurred between 125,000-60,000 years ago. Although scientists have come to a consensus when it comes to migration periods, they couldn’t determine whether there were multiple, distinct migrations or just a single one.
Due to this prehistoric migratory predilection, Europe and Asia became populated with the first modern humans (despite already being occupied by Neanderthals).
As curious as it may seem, by analysing the DNA of living people, researchers are capable of understanding events that predate us by 60,000 years. Study lead author, Luca Pagani, explains that non-African Eurasians are more similar from a genetic standpoint to modern Egyptians than to Ethiopians.
What Dr. Pagani and his team did was to cross-examine the genetic makeup of 100 Egyptians against that of 25 representatives of five different Ethiopian populations. Their hypothesis was that, if Ethiopia had been the route that modern humans took, Ethiopians would bear a larger genetic resemblance to Eurasians.
The team’s results came to contradict that hypothesis. Egyptians are, in actuality, more genetically similar to Eurasians.
Because of repeated miscenegation and intermixing, the study implied complex and difficult tasks. Separating individual indices, for instance, was one of these tasks.
This objective and comprehensive genomic data proves that migration routes differed from those initially anticipated by scientists. The team added that there are limitations to the study, specifically concerning timing controversies.
According to Toomas Kivisild, study co-author, despite the fact that the study hasn’t discussed the expansion’s complexities, it does paint a clear picture of the route that modern humans took. Humans went north and not south towards Ethiopia.
The study’s results were published in Friday’s issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.
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