Most people accept that anatomically modern humans first arose in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago, but the location where that monumental evolutionary event took place on the continent has been less certain. Now, a new study in the journal Nature purports to know the original, ancestral homeland of all humans roaming the planet today.
Vanessa Hayes and her colleagues used timeline, ethno-linguistic, and geographic frequency distribution data from more than 1,000 mitogenomes (mitochondrial DNA) from living southern Africans who have mostly lived in geographical isolation and combined that information with climatic reconstructions of the region south of the Zambezi River, in northern Botswana, from when anatomically modern humans (AMH) arose. They say the results of their study suggest that “the founder population of all modern humans possibly emerged in the Makgadikgadi–Okavango palaeo-wetland of southern Africa.”
And they are calling that the “ancestral homeland of all humans alive today.”