After years of research, a team of researchers has pinpointed the cradle of all mankind: modern-day Botswana.
For millennia now, mankind has wondered about where humans first originated. While it's been speculated that modern humans, as we have come to know them today, arose from Africa, it has long been debated. Moreover, we've never actually been able to pinpoint a specific area or region of origin. However, scientists have finally determined with scientific evidence where modern humans originated. Much to the dismay of racists everywhere, it is thus confirmed: we all came from modern-day Botswana in Africa, The Independent reports. Eugenists and other white supremacists might have been convinced that theirs is the "superior race" but, as it turns out, we truly are all one race.
This is not to say, of course, that race and racism do not play major roles in our societies. The larger, overarching point that scientists have helped us prove is that race is ultimately a manmade concept and not something that can be identified scientifically through genetic research or DNA analysis. The lead researcher of the study, Professor Vanessa Hayes, a geneticist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, stated, "It has been clear for some time that anatomically modern humans appeared in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago. What has been long debated is the exact location of this emergence and subsequent dispersal of our earliest ancestors."
Now, Professor Hayes and her colleagues have helped us come to a conclusion on this longstanding debate. According to their research, the earliest anatomically modern humans - also known as Homo sapiens - originated 200,000 years ago in a vast wetland south of the Zambezi river. This is in modern-day Botswana and is currently being referred to as the cradle of all mankind. The team's study was published in the journal Nature and explains that the lush region beside the river featured an enormous lake, which sustained mankind for an estimated 70,000 years.
The study was completed by collecting blood samples from study participants in Namibia and South Africa and then analyzing their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). They focused exclusively on the L0 lineage, which is modern human’s earliest known population, and did a thorough comparison of the complete DNA code (mitogenome) from different individuals. In addition to this, the team of scientists surveyed other sub-lineages across various locations in Africa in order to observe just how closely related they were. Following this, they combined genetics with geology and climatic physics, eventually painting a picture of what the world would have looked like 200,000 years ago.
As per their research, it was only when the climate began to change between 110,000 and 130,000 years ago that humans started to venture outside of the region. During this time, fertile corridors started opening up outside of this valley too, further pushing the population to disperse, explore, and discover more. Climate scientist at Pusan National University in South Korea, Professor Axel Timmermann, explained, "These shifts in climate would have opened green, vegetated corridors, first 130,000 years ago to the northeast, and then around 110,000 years ago to the southwest, allowing our earliest ancestors to migrate away from the homeland for the first time." This was the first instance of migration - no borders, no walls. Sounds pretty good, eh?