Aboriginal DNA study reveals 50,000-year story of sacred ties to land | Australia news | The Guardian

pbs.twimg.com_2016-09-20_10-31-28.pngAboriginal DNA study reveals 50,000-year story of sacred ties to land | Australia news | The Guardian – Their analysis found Aboriginal Australians are the descendants of a single founding population that arrived in Australia 50,000 years ago, while Australia was still connected to New Guinea. Populations then spread rapidly – within 1,500 to 2,000 years – around the east and west coasts of Australia, meeting somewhere in South Australia.

One of the researchers, the geneticist Dr Ray Tobler, said the samples meant Aboriginal ancestry could now be genetically traced back in time to a point that pre-dated European colonisation, when Aboriginal people were still living in their traditional areas, supporting what the archeological evidence already shows.

Having the genetic information was crucial because after colonisation Aboriginal people were forced off country or forcibly removed from their families and scattered all over Australia, Tobler said. “If you want to do historical research on the connection between people and land you can’t do it using modern Aboriginal people because of that disconnection,” he said.

“I have Aboriginal ancestry through my granddad but he never spoke about it because he was removed from his family. A lot of people in my situation interested in recording their history can do so through this project.”

The hair samples identified four main distinct types of maternal DNA, which they labeled “P”, “O”, “S” and “M”. Those in the O group were overwhelmingly found on the west and south coast of Australia, the researchers found. Those with the oth

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