The first indigenous peoples of Australia, now known as the Aborigines, are descended from the same peoples of Africa who left the “black continent” about 72,000 years ago to spread throughout Europe and Asia.
The constant presence of these first daring explorers in Australia, where they arrived about 50,000 years ago across the ocean, makes them the oldest civilization on the planet. This is revealed by the most complete genetic analysis to date, led by a Greek diaspora geneticist.
The research, conducted in collaboration with the various indigenous communities, confirms that all Aborigines today are descended directly from those first “African” immigrants who settled in Australia.
The researchers, led by Anna-Sappho Malaspina, Assistant Professor of Genetics at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Bern and the University of Copenhagen, and Danish Genetics professor Eske Villersle “Nature”, analyzed the complete genome of 83 modern Aboriginal people, as well as 25 inhabitants of Papua New Guinea.
“Research shows that in fact there was only one wave of people, from whom all non-Africans today come, including Australians,” said Willerslev.
“This study, which lasted three years,” Malaspina told APE-MPE, is the result of collaboration between Australian indigenous groups and scientists. It marks the beginning of a new era, where traditional landowners, namely Australian Indigenous peoples, and scientists work closely together for their common good. The data, which correspond to the first comprehensive population-based genome study in Australia, reveal that the genetic diversity of the Australian continent is similar in magnitude to the diversity between Europeans and East Asians, thus supporting the view that have been living on this continent for an extremely long time. ”
“Genetic differentiation among Aboriginal Australians is impressive. Their groups in southwestern Australia are genetically more different from those in northeastern Australia, than they are genetically different from each other e.g. “Native Americans from the Siberians.”
The anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens), who left Africa 72,000 years ago, spread to Europe and Asia. The ancestors of today’s Aborigines are estimated to have been separated from the rest 58,000 years ago.
By comparison, the ancestors of Europeans and Asians (both of African descent) were genetically separated more recently, about 42,000 years ago.
The ancestors of the Aborigines finally arrived in Australia about 47,000 to 50,000 years ago, according to ancient fossils. At that time, Australia was still united with New Guinea and Tasmania. When the water level gradually rose, these areas, 10,000 years ago, were geographically separated from each other.
United or separate, however, the distant continent has been inhabited continuously for at least 50,000 years by descendants of those early immigrants. On the other hand, the Aborigines of Australia and the Papuans of New Guinea – for unknown reasons – seem to have been genetically separated 37,000 years ago, long before the two regions were separated by water.
The ancestors of the Aborigines lived almost completely isolated from the rest of the world, until a few thousand years ago, when they came in contact with some Asian populations, and only recently, in the 18th century, were they “visited” (if that is the right word. .) the Europeans.
The research – in which another Greek scientist participated, George Athanasiadis of the Bioinformatics Research Center of the Danish University of Aarhus – also reveals that within Australia 31,000 years ago the various Aboriginal communities were already genetically isolated from each other, probably due to inaccessible and inaccessible terrain, especially due to the virtually impassable desert in the center of the continent.
More than 4,000 years ago, genetic analysis shows that there was an extensive internal migration from a mysterious group of people in the northeast of the continent in other directions, decisively influencing the way of speaking and the culture of the later Aborigines. But suddenly these internal migrants disappeared like “ghosts” from the genetic archive.