Research challenges single-site origin of humans in Africa

The new research challenges the traditional theory on the origins of humans in Africa

Scientists in Canada and the United States have published research which challenges the traditional theory about the origins of modern humans in Africa.

Looking at genetic data, researchers from McGill University and the University of California, Davis suggest there were multiple populations living in different parts of Africa, migrating from one region to another and mixing with each other over hundreds of thousands of years.

This view runs counter to the theory that Homo Sapiens emerged from a single ancestral population in East or Southern Africa.

“At different times, people who embraced the classic model of a single origin for Homo Sapiens suggested that humans first emerged in either East or Southern Africa,” said Brenna Henn, a population geneticist at the University of California, Davis and co-lead author of the research.

“But it has been difficult to reconcile these theories with the limited fossil and archaeological records of human occupation from sites as far afield as Morocco, Ethiopia, and South Africa which show that Homo Sapiens were to be found living across the continent as far back as at least 300,000 years ago,” she said.

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