This is why Ethiopia is called the cradle of mankind

Vanessa Calys-Tagoe November 22, 2022
Ethiopian highlands. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Flying over the Big Bang Theory school of thought and Creation Story school of thought and landing in Ethiopia where all of mankind is said to have belonged to and eventually migrated from into other parts. 

Dating back to 980 BC, Africa’s oldest country, according to archaeological findings, is the home of every race in the world. The “Out of Africa Model” theory is used to buttress this belief, now fact, that all humans migrated from Africa and settled in other parts of the world later, but this does not answer why Ethiopia stays the only African country described as the “cradle of mankind”.

As the oldest African country, Ethiopia sits as the country that houses evidence of ancient human beings dating back millions of years making it an archaeological hub. This goes a long way to explain why the country is perceived as the birthplace of humanity. 

Again, it is believed that every human being on earth can be traced to have descended from an Ethiopian woman. Darwit Aragaw explains that “DNA evidence shows that all living humans are descended from an individual woman from the Lower Omo River Valley. She is a matriarch whose descendants successfully migrated out of Africa.” 

The whole of Africa is said to have descended from the kin of the Lower Omo River Valley in Ethiopia into different parts of the continent making all African ethnic groups a subset of Ethiopia. Generally, deductions from the above show that one way or the other everyone is a long-distance relative of someone in Ethiopia especially those in the Lower Omo River Valley. 

Away from migration, Ethiopia is said to house more language and genetic diversity among its people, especially among tribes of the Lower Omo River Valley than in other parts of the world. While a majority of all these arguments are based on fossil evidence and DNA, on the nature front, more than half of Africa’s mountains are found in Ethiopia. 

Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Afar rift, forms a large, triangular depression and is found in Ethiopia. Noteworthy of the Afar Rift Valley is the fossils found within the sediments, which can be dated accurately as many hominid remains have been found there even though it is not the only place early hominids settled. Famous fossils like the Lucy fossil have been found in Ethiopia. 

Ethiopia paints the picture of being home to evolution and as The Seeker puts it, “Ethiopia paints a vivid picture of human evolution, but it’s likely not the only place where early hominids settled.” Wholesomely, Africa is credited as being the cradle of humanity as according to The Newscientist around 7 million years ago, the oldest known hominids arose there and stayed on the continent for a long time. 

However, Ethiopia happens to be the site where a lot of discovery on early humans has been made. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Lower Omo River Valley in Ethiopia a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s been so for almost 40 years. 

On the surface, Ethiopia’s description as the “cradle of mankind” connotes the birthplace of humans. Scientifically, it explains the fossils of the oldest hominids and although the country, known for having fought off Western influence, is not the only African country that houses these fossils, it remains a fact that it was home to the majority of the early humans before they migrated elsewhere.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: November 22, 2022


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