The perennial question – where did we come from? What are our origins? We can’t answer the question of who created us with DNA but we are close to finding out where man originated on earth. One recent study that took 30 years to complete bears evidence of North American Natives’ origins in China. Another long-term project proves all modern men came out of Africa.
DNA from fossils unearthed in southern China dating back 14,000 years suggests Native Americans have East Asian roots. Another project, briefly mentioned below, definitively found that all modern men originated in Africa.
We are all brothers, just took different paths.
CHINESE NATIVE AMERICANS TAKE ON A NEW LOOK
The fossils found in China demonstrate that North American Native Americans may have had genetic roots in East Asia. The data will help us understand “how humans change their physical appearance by adapting to local environments over time,” study co-author Bing Su says.
Scientists compared the genetic information of the Late Pleistocene era fossils to those from humans worldwide.
They found that the bones belonged to an individual that was linked deeply to the East Asian ancestry of Native Americans.
Archaeologists had been able to successfully sequence the genome of the fossils.
Researchers for the first time successfully sequenced the genome of fossils from the Late Pleistocene. They used a skull unearthed from Red Deer Cave.
“Ancient DNA technique is a really powerful tool,” Bing Su, a study co-author who works at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, says.
“It tells us quite definitively that the Red Deer Cave people were modern humans instead of an archaic species, such as Neanderthals or Denisovans, despite their unusual morphological features.”
They proposed that some of the southern East Asian people traveled north along the coast of present-day China through Japan and eventually reached Siberia.
“It tells us quite definitively that the Red Deer Cave people were modern humans instead of an archaic species, such as Neanderthals or Denisovans, despite their unusual morphological features,” Bing Su, a study co-author, says. Pictured is the reproduced portrait of the Red Deer Cave People or Mengziren.
It’s believed that they then crossed the Bering Strait between Asia and North America to become the first people to arrive in the New World.
The work that led to these insights began more than thirty years ago.
At that time, a group of archaeologists in China discovered a large set of bones in the Maludong, or Red Deer Cave, in southern China’s Yunnan Province.
Archaeologists used carbon dating – which uses the relative proportions of the carbon isotopes carbon-12 and carbon-14 to determine the age of organic matter – to show that the fossils were from the Late Pleistocene about 14,000 years ago. Some reports say 17,000 years. They weren’t hybrids as some people thought.
THE RED DEER PEOPLE
The discovery dates back to work that began several decades ago when archaeologists found a large set of bones in the Maludong, or Red Deer Cave, pictured here.
This was a period of time when modern humans had migrated to many parts of the world.
Researchers recovered a hominin skull cap from the cave that had characteristics of both modern humans and archaic humans.
For instance, the shape of the skull resembled that of Neanderthals, and its brain appeared to be smaller than that of modern humans.
As a result, some anthropologists had thought the skull probably belonged to an unknown archaic human species that lived until fairly recently or to a hybrid population of archaic and modern humans.
The finding contributes to our understanding of the rich genetic diversity of hominins living at that time in southern East Asia.
Su says that it suggests that early humans who first arrived in eastern Asia had initially settled in the south before some of them moved to the north.
“It’s an important piece of evidence for understanding early human migration,” he explains.
“Its genome fills in a really important missing part of the overall story of how humans got to the Americas. Much of the work has focused on the other branch of Native American ancestry – the Siberians – but little was known until this paper about the ancestors of the Native Americans in East Asia. It is really important Understand this branch, because it represents the majority of Native American ancestry!” Jennifer Ruff, a geneticist and anthropologist at the University of Kansas and author of “Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas,” said via email to OE mag.
CHILDREN OF AFRICA
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GENOME PROJECT
The genome project began in 2005 and it does deep ancestry, tracing your family’s route from as far back as they can go. What they discovered is everyone has a genetic marker of a primitive African tribe that exists to this day.
The new data support the single origin, or “out of Africa” theory for anatomically modern humans, which says that these early humans colonized the planet after spreading out of the continent some 50,000 years ago.
Life appears to have begun around the Sudan or Ethiopia. We are all children of Africa – definitively.
Man of a Million years ago have nothing to do with man today, except evolution. Million year old man was probably not much smarter than a dog!
Most modern people haven’t advanced much.