According to a new study, Indigenous Australians are the oldest continuous civilization on the surface of the planet. Their legacy goes back around 50,000 years back, giving us another reason why we should rewrite our history books. Researchers concluded this after an extensive study of their DNA.
The scientific paper was published in the journal Nature and was led by Professor Eske Willerslev of the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with a host of Indigenous elders.
It isn’t the ancient Egyptians, or Sumerians, as it turns out, the Indigenous Australians are the MOST ancient continuous civilization on the surface of the planet, and their legacy can be traced back more than 50,000 years.
Experts were able to trace their ancestry by studying the DNA of modern-day population in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Experts concluded that their ancestors were in fact, the FIRST humans to cross an ocean, unveiling evidence of prehistoric liaisons with an UNKNOWN hominin cousin.
“Who these people are, we don’t know,” said Eske Willerslev at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and senior author of the study.
“Now we know their relatives are the guys who were the first real human explorers. Our ancestors were sitting being kind of scared of the world while they set out on this exceptional journey across Asia and across the sea,” Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, who led the study.
In order to come to this conclusion, experts studied a group of 83 Indigenous Australians and 25 Papuans.
The results show that these groups are able to trace their origins back to the first arrivals to the continent, believed to be some 50,00 years ago and that they remained almost entirely isolated until some 4,000 years ago.
“There is greater genetic diversity in Aboriginal people living in the east and west of Australia then there is between people living in Siberia and the Americas,” says Westaway.
“That great genetic diversity in Aboriginal populations reflects the huge amount of time they have occupied the continent,” says co-author and senior research fellow Dr. Michael Westaway.
Joshua M. Akey of the University of Washington said, “I think all three studies are basically saying the same thing. We know there were multiple dispersals out of Africa, but we can trace our ancestry back to a single one.”
Experts concluded that around 2 percent of the Papuan Genome point towards an early migration that occurred some 120,000 years ago. Interestingly, previous studies suggested that non-Africans mostly descend from an ‘exodus’ that took place around 70,000 years ago.
Featured image: Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis