Stone Age DISCOVERY: Oldest DNA from Africa uncovers migration mystery
Courtesy of https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/938420/stone-age-dna-discovery-africa-migration
SCIENTISTS have analysed the oldest piece of DNA from people living in Morocco 15,000 years ago to unravel the mystery of African migration in a new study.
Researchers discovered there was more migration between North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa than was originally believed after studying the oldest DNA.
Scientists discovered Earth’s first people share a genetic heritage with populations in the Eastern Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa after successfully analysing the oldest nuclear DNA from Africa.
The research reveals that Stone Age humans from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East were interacting with each other much earlier than was previously believed.
Our analysis shows that North Africa and the Near East, even at this early time, were part of one region without much of a genetic barrier
They were able to find new information about Stone Age migration from studying burials from a cave in Morocco.
Mr Jeong said: “Our analysis shows that North Africa and the Near East, even at this early time, were part of one region without much of a genetic barrier.”
The researchers studied DNA samples of nine people from the Iberomaurasian culture in Taforalt, which is a cave in northern Morocco and the oldest cemetery in the world.
Iberomaurasian sites have been found across the Maghreb, Algeria and Tunisia, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Evolutionary geneticist Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania said: “The findings are really exciting.
“North Africa has been an important crossroads for a long longer than people thought.”
Population geneticist David Reich of Harvard University said: “It’s a thrill to look for the first time at ancient DNA from prehistoric peoples from North Africa, a place where repeated waves of migration have made reconstruction of the deep population history based on living populations almost impossible.”
The research team have said that further studies in the region are required to clarify more about how these populations interacted.