Much research has been done in recent years to determine how and when Australia’s Aborigines populated the continent and this latest development shows that the Aborigines populated Australia longer than any other race of people on Earth:
In an exciting development, an international team of researchers has, for the first time, pieced together the human genome from an Aboriginal Australian.
The results, published in the journal Science, re-interpret the prehistory of our species.
By sequencing the genome, the researchers demonstrate that Aboriginal Australians descend directly from an early human expansion into Asia that took place some 70,000 years ago, at least 24,000 years before the population movements that gave rise to present-day Europeans and Asians. The results imply that modern day Aboriginal Australians are in fact the direct descendents of the first people who arrived in Australia as early as 50,000 years ago. (……………….)
The genome, shown to have no genetic input from modern European Australians, reveals that the ancestors of the Aboriginal man separated from the ancestors of other human populations some 64-75,000 years ago. Aboriginal Australians therefore descend directly from the earliest modern explorers, people who migrated into Asia before finally reaching Australia about 50,000 years ago. In showing this, the study establishes Aboriginal Australians as the population with the longest association with the land on which they live today. [Science Daily]
It is amazing to think about what an ambitious journey it would have been all those tens of thousands of years ago to walk from Africa to Australia? It makes me wonder how many decades it took for the ancestral Aborigines to reach Australia? One thing is for sure is that the migration to Australia has to be considered one of the greatest feats of human exploration ever:
Professor Eske Willerslev from the University of Copenhagen, who headed the study, explains: “Aboriginal Australians descend from the first human explorers. While the ancestors of Europeans and Asians were sitting somewhere in Africa or the Middle East, yet to explore their world further, the ancestors of Aboriginal Australians spread rapidly; the first modern humans traversing unknown territory in Asia and finally crossing the sea into Australia. It was a truly amazing journey that must have demanded exceptional survival skills and bravery.”
It gets me wondering why they kept migrating towards Australia? Was there religious reasons perhaps that caused them to keep moving? Could the walkabout culture of the present Aborigines be a cultural remnant from their ancient ancestors? I find this to bel interesting stuff to ponder.