The Archaeology News Network: Genetics reveal 50,000 years of independent history of aboriginal Australian people

ixquick-proxy.com_2016-02-28_11-25-34The Archaeology News Network: Genetics reveal 50,000 years of independent history of aboriginal Australian people – The study by researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and collaborators at La Trobe University in Melbourne and several other Australian institutes, challenges a previous theory that suggested an influx of people from India into Australia around 4-5,000 years ago. This new DNA sequencing study focused on the Y chromosome, which is transmitted only from father to son, and found no support for such a prehistoric migration. The results instead show a long and independent genetic history in Australia. Modern humans arrived in Australia about 50,000 years ago, forming the ancestors of present-day Aboriginal Australians. They were amongst the earliest settlers outside Africa. They arrived in an ancient continent made up of today’s Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, called Sahul, probably thousands of years before modern humans arrived in Europe. Five thousand years ago, dingos, the native dogs, somehow arrived in Australia, and changes in stone tool use and language around the same time raised the question of whether there were also associated genetic changes in the Australian Aboriginal population. At least two previous genetic studies, one of which was based on the Y chromosome, had proposed that these changes could have coincided with mixing of Aboriginal and Indian populations about 5,000 years ago. Anders Bergstrom, first author on the paper at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: “We worked closely with Aboriginal Australian communities to sequence the Y chromosome DNA from 13 male volunteers to investigate their ancestry. The data show that Aboriginal Australian Y chromosomes are very distinct from Indian ones. These results refute the previous Y chromosome study, thus excluding this part of the puzzle as providing evidence for a prehistoric migration from India. Instead, the results are in agreement with the archaeological record about when people arrived in this part of the world.”

One comment

  1. Very interesting. I have an old book, a big book 1800’s I think, about early Australia. I found it at a yard sale some years ago but I never really read it. It fascinated me at the time. I think I’m going to go get it and see what it said then about the earliest people. Ill get back with you about that. History is so interesting.

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