Scientists believe they now have proof of where exactly the earliest humans came from: It’s Botswana!

Nii Ntreh Nov 3, 2019 at 08:00am

November 03, 2019 at 08:00 am | History, News

Nii Ntreh

Nii Ntreh | Staff Writer

November 03, 2019 at 08:00 am | History, News

The San people of southern Africa are thought to have one of the oldest DNAs. Photo Credit: Livescience.com

In southern Africa, Botswana precisely, scientists believe they have found the primordial home of human beings before we spread into the different parts of the world.

In a report published by the scientific journal Nature, in October, a group of scientists theorised that the area known as the Makgadikgadi paleo-wetland in modern Botswana is most probably where our ancestors evolved into what we today call “humans”.

Makgadikgadi is in the Kalahari Desert. The area was thousands of years ago, a much different place with lakes and grassland. This made for effective inhabitation.

In arriving at their conclusion, the scientists investigated the DNA structures of over 1,200 people across southern Africa. What was sought was mitochondrial information, a biological fact passed through females.

In essence, the scientists needed to trace back through the genes of those they surveyed, how close they came to the earliest known humans.

The investigations concluded the genomes of some of the peoples south of the Zambesi River is the oldest known to us. By continuing on that path, the scientists found out that, L macro-haplogroup, a biological fact shared by all humans, was most probably first formed by a woman about 200,000 years ago in the area.

The woman is what is known in scientific circles as the Mitochondrial Eve, merging the biblical mother of humans and the scientific information required to ascertain our ancestry.

The study called the Makgadikgadi paleo-wetland “the ancestral homeland of all humans alive today.” 

Author of the study, Vanessa Hayes noted: “We’ve known for a long time that humans originated in Africa and roughly 200,000 years ago but what we hadn’t known until this study was where exactly this homeland was.”

Scientists have for years researched where on the continent we might have been formed. They surveyed people with some of the oldest maternal lineage DNAs on earth, including the San people of southern Africa.

It remains to be seen if this new finding contributes exponentially to the defence of Africans and people of African descent against racist narratives that aim to portray them as subhuman.

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