‘Go back to your country’ is slowly becoming Malta’s national motto, as one man recently found out. But just in case you’re wondering where your country might be, it turns out that all of us come from the same place: the valley in Botswana.
So maybe next time someone tells you to go back to your country, how about you tell them to go back to theirs?
Scientists claim to have traced the ancestral home region of all living humans to an oasis in the African country, with land south of the Zambezi River becoming a thriving home to Homo sapiens 200,000 years ago.
They remained in the area for millennia and were only driven out of the region due to a shift in climate, an ominous warning sign for the current emergency.
The research is based on an analysis of 1,217 samples of mitochondrial DNA from people living in southern Africa today. The scientists used the DNA, which is passed down exclusively from mother to child, to map out the oldest known maternal line of humans alive today.
The researchers next turned to geological, archaeological and fossil evidence, discovering that a massive lake once existed in the area. They found that the first DNA slip between the first group of homo sapiens occurred around 130,000 after the initial wave of migration, while a second wave took place about 20,000 years later.
The findings, which came out of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, have raised some eyebrows from experts.
“Like so many studies that concentrate on one small bit of the genome, or one region, or one stone tool industry, or one ‘critical’ fossil, it cannot capture the full complexity of our mosaic origins, once other data are considered,” Chris Stringer, who studies human origins at the Natural History Museum in London, said.
Tag someone who needs to go back to their country!