If you want to discover your genetic history and where you came from... you’ve found the right place!

888-806-2588

review of scientific and news articles on dna testing and popular genetics

Aboriginal Australian History Finally Resolved

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Everyone probably has wondered at some time what makes Aboriginal Australians different from other people, where they came from and how old their ethnic type is. Well, wonder no more. Following up on the previous post, "Australian Aboriginal DNA Gets Attention," this post will summarize the groundbreaking article in Science magazine, M. Rasmussen et al., "An Aboriginal Australian Genome Reveals Separate Human Dispersals into Asia" (Science 334, 7 Oct. 2011, 94-98).

First the abstract:

We present an Aboriginal Australian genomic sequence obtained from a 100-year-old lock of hair donated by an Aboriginal man from southern Western Australia in the early 20th century. We detect no evidence of European admixture and estimate contamination levels to be below 0.5%. We show that Aboriginal Australians are descendants of an early human dispersal into eastern Asia, possibly 62,000 to 75,000 years ago. This dispersal is separate from the one that gave rise to modern Asians 25,000 to 38,000 years ago. We also find evidence of gene flow between populations of the two dispersal waves prior to the divergence of Native Americans from modern Asian ancestors. Our findings support the hypothesis that present-day Aboriginal Australians descend from the earliest humans to occupy Australia, likely representing one of the oldest continuous populations outside Africa.

Above:  Aboriginal Men about 1900 from the Coranderrk Community. La Trobe Picture Collection.

This study of Aboriginals will be cited as a landmark case in genetics because the authors took especial care to disarm any criticism concerning possible admixture and contamination, achieved a stupendous rate of success in sequencing DNA sites and used smart comparators to verify their model of what makes Aboriginals different, including Neanderthals, Denisovans, Andamanese, Filipinos, Indians, Papua New Guineans and Melanesians. Fifty-eight co-authors are listed, with Morten Rasmussen of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York, named as the first lead author.

First sentence:

The genetic history of Aboriginal Australians is contentious but highly important for understanding the evolution of modern humans.

Some mysteries pointed out about Aboriginal Australian DNA by the authors include:

--The Aboriginal population contains a lot of diversity, including specimens of most of the world's haplogroups, male and female

--Related populations suggested are hunger-gatherers from Nepal and the Philippines, Great Andamanese and Onge from the Andaman Islands, Highland Papua New Guineans and certain peoples from India

--It was previously unclear whether Aboriginals resulted from a single dispersal out of Africa or multiple-dispersal model

--The role of hybridization with other archaic peoples was also not clear.

The authors confirm that "before European contact occurred, Aboriginal Australian and PNG Highlands ancestors had been genetically isolated from other populations (except possibly each other) since at least 15,000 to 30,000 years B.P." Also, "our results favor the multiple-dispersal model in which the ancestors of Aboriginal Australian and related populations split from the Eurasian population before Asian and Europeans split from each other" (97). "We find that the European and Asian populations split from each other only 25,000 to 38,000 years B.P., in agreement with previous estimates."

The new study finds that Aboriginals have an amount of admixture with Neanderthals and Denisovans comparable to Europeans and Asians, although they have more Denisovan DNA than other people. "This admixture may have occurred in Melanesia or, alternative, in Eurasia during the early migration wave" (97).

In sum, the Aboriginals are part of the same first-out-of-Africa branch of the human tree as Europeans and Asians, their ancestors splitting 62,000 to 75,000 years ago from Africans, and leaving relic related populations in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. A second expansion wave through India, Indo-China and Southeast Asia replaced the original stock, while the Aboriginals became stranded and isolated in Australia about 50,000 years ago. 

"This means that Aboriginal Australians likely have one of the oldest continuous population histories outside sub-Saharan Africa today" (98).

Properly positioning Australian Aboriginals in the expansion of humans out of Africa opens the way to connecting the dots for all the other prehistoric peoples. The migration map presented by Rasmussen et al should be carefully studied for clues about the origins of Asians and Native Americans, to begin with.



Reconstruction of early spread of modern humans outside Africa. Note admixture between early dispersal (red) and second dispersal (black), as well as presence of archaic Denisovans in Asia. Science magazine.










Comments

Angel Du Pree commented on 15-Nov-2013 12:58 PM

Back in the seventies I took an anthropology course at the University of Florida. One of the professors had postulated that the Australian aborigines may have had ancestry with the Ainu people off the coast of Japan. Though the Ainu are light skinned he pointed out the fact that both tend to have a similar head shape, notably their foreheads. He showed us a map of ocean currents and one of them led directly from the Ainu sown to Australia. Has this been totally debunked? Have there been any genetic comparisons done?

Nat Turner commented on 15-Feb-2014 08:45 AM

A great, intelligent and mystical people,
greatly not understood and abused by latecomers,
The links between Australia and the surrounds have long been clear,
even before the "proof" by DNA.
What has not been discussed widely or taken into consideration is,
the so called Aboriginals along with the very early inhabitants of India,
were both actually preceded by "pygmies" and
in both cases these "pygmies" were still extant, at least till recently.
They like the pygmies of Africa represent the first of humanity, and
they remained even in Europe way into historical times.
The Greeks pictured them with their protuberant bellies as their gods on pottery,
The Vatican documents them as far away as Greenland under the name Skraelings,
The Japanese Ainu, entering Japan, sight them as "earth spiders & pit dwellers" under the name Koro-pok-guru.
When Pharaoh Seti I wanted to see the "Sacred Dance", ie. heavenly movements,
he sent southward to the land of Punt,
for a pygmy to perform.
The descendants of the first men, even those who were known as the "Gods" are to be found still in pockets across Africa, Asia and elsewhere.
The Australian Aboriginals, The Dravidians the Africans represent the first of man.
They must be especially cherished as they purvey the secrets of man's inception.


Please tell us what you think

Name, website, and email are optional; if we publish your comment, your name will be shown, and may be linked to your website if provided, but the email you enter will not be published.





Captcha Image


Recent Posts


Tags

andrew solomon university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill haplogroup J Chromosomal Labs Bode Technology Finnish people Arabia New York Times Tennessee Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Henriette Mertz Peter Parham Epigraphic Society Anne Marie Fine BATWING giants HapMap French DNA Sizemore surname Albert Einstein College of Medicine Pima Indians Elzina Grimwood Caucasian Hopi Indians Abenaki Indians Stan Steiner Belgium Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute immunology Scientific American Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales (book) Applied Epistemology Majorca Genex Diagnostics Rafael Falk Marie Cheng Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies Secret History of the Cherokee Indians Teresa Panther-Yates clan symbols Normans Ashkenazi Jews Stacy Schiff French Canadians ancient DNA Neolithic Revolution Ripan Malhi Pueblo Indians Joseph Jacobs Sam Kean Jim Bentley breast cancer Kitty Prince of the Bear River Athabaskans Harold Goodwin haplogroup H National Geographic Daily News M. J. Harper Monica Sanowar Patagonia DNA Fingerprint Test Magdalenian culture Greeks Amy Harmon Eric Wayner art history DNA Forums John Wilwol DNA Fingerprint Test Terry Gross Mary Kugler familial Mediterranean fever England Texas A&M University Jewish genetics Phillipe Charlier Jesse Montes Khoisan Chuetas corn Tucson King Arthur Sorbs Egyptians Holocaust Database Douglas Owsley Chauvet cave paintings Science magazine Rush Limbaugh Daily News and Analysis Plato DNA magazine Maronites private allele Sonora Denisovans Old Souls in a New World Nephilim, Fritz Zimmerman Oxford Nanopore Louis XVI 23andme Clovis haplogroup X El Castillo cave paintings Black Dutch Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America Akhenaten Lithuania Great Goddess clinical chemistry Melba Ketchum Carl Zimmer evolution Janet Lewis Crain Navajo Roberta Estes research Tintagel Isabel Allende Choctaw Indians EURO DNA Fingerprint Test Hertfordshire genetic memory Celts climate change haplogroup U Melungeons AP Anasazi mental foramen crypto-Jews aliyah haplogroup R Charlotte Harris Reese Shlomo Sand Neanderthals North Carolina Havasupai Indians Barnard College origins of art DNA testing companies family history mummies Panther's Lodge Melungeon Union Jack Goins Victor Hugo Elvis Presley DNA Dienekes Anthropology Blog Asian DNA haplogroup Z Yates surname Brian Wilkes Germany New Mexico MHC Mary Settegast Indo-Europeans Gila River Bulgaria ethnicity IntegenX Wikipedia New York Review of Books Sinaloa Genome Sciences Building Wendy Roth Bigfoot Phyllis Starnes Smithsonian Magazine American history Middle Eastern DNA Gunnar Thompson cannibalism alleles Richard Lewontin Russell Belk Telltown Phoenicians pheromones Cleopatra North African DNA Stone Age Melungeon Movement Sinti Melungeon Heritage Association Arizona Scotland Leicester Ron Janke Hohokam Indians Cismar Theodore Steinberg Abraham Lincoln Arizona State University Daniel Defoe Harry Ostrer genealogy Jewish novelists Micmac Indians Italy Michoacan Cismaru DNA security King Arthur, Tintagel, The Earliest Jews and Muslims of England and Wales Tom Martin Scroft Michael Schwartz N. Brent Kennedy Mark Thomas Johnny Depp Zionism Elizabeth DeLand Miguel Gonzalez Acadians ethnic markers Jewish contribution to world literature Central Band of Cherokees Grim Sleeper New York Academy of Sciences Family Tree DNA Roma People Kentucky Chris Tyler-Smith Romania Cajuns Penny Ferguson surnames Harold Sterling Gladwin Luca Pagani Smithsonian Institution Colin Pitchfork prehistoric art Cherokee DNA Project Arabic archeology ethics Y chromosome DNA Elizabeth C. Hirschman anthropology Kari Schroeder Erika Chek Hayden London Cherokee Freedmen Ancestry.com Richard Dewhurst Riane Eisler FOX News autosomal DNA history of science Virginia DeMarce Jews hominids news religion DNA databases ISOGG peopling of the Americas genomics labs Zuni Indians Middle Ages Bering Land Bridge Dragging Canoe PNAS Richard Buckley admixture Asiatic Fathers of America Ziesmer, Zizmor Ukraine Khazars Anacostia Indians Maya William Byrd Turkic DNA Nova Scotia First Peoples Kennewick Man Etruscans single nucleotide polymorphism Cooper surname B'nai Abraham phenotype microsatellites Cancer Genome Atlas Sizemore Indians polydactylism National Health Laboratories FBI cancer Thuya Population genetics Ireland horizontal inheritance bar mitzvah University of Leicester Monya Baker Philippa Langley Rich Crankshaw Henry IV Bureau of Indian Affairs education George Starr-Bresette Nayarit Peter Martyr Comanche Indians Nature Communications Cohen Modal Haplotype Jone Entine human migrations Marija Gimbutas methylation Jalisco Washington D.C. Bryan Sykes Helladic art Chris Stringer haplogroup E haplogroup L Ancient Giantns Who Ruled America Cherokee DNA Current Anthropology Discovery Channel Israel, Shlomo Sand Anglo-Saxons Alabama African DNA European DNA Phoenix Douglas Preston Nature Genetics Colima James Shoemaker health and medicine Barack Obama haplogroup M epigenetics Valparaiso University Ostenaco Richard III mutation rate Lab Corp Tifaneg human leukocyte testing Charles Darwin Austro-Hungary Irish Central Bode Technology Charles Perou Patrick Henry Algonquian Indians prehistory Mexico Science Daily, Genome Biol. Evol., Eran Elhaik, Khazarian Hypothesis, Rhineland Hypothesis Jan Ravenspirit Franz Promega Freemont Indians Oxford Journal of Evolution Slovakia CODIS markers Panther's Lodge Publishers Waynesboro Pennsylvania When Scotland Was Jewish Russia Colin Renfrew Nadia Abu El-Haj FDA Melanesians Cave art population genetics NPR Kurgan Culture population isolates far from the tree Early Jews of England and Wales Hohokam X chromosome Cornwall India Horatio Cushman Gregory Mendel ENFSI Timothy Bestor Lebanon Rutgers University China DNA Diagnostics Center Bentley surname research Walter Plecker genetic determinism Discover magazine bloviators Europe Ari Plost Svante Paabo linguistics National Museum of Natural History Constantine Rafinesque Nikola Tesla John Butler George van der Merwede haplogroup T Robinson Crusoe seafaring Pomponia Graecina Gravettian culture Rare Genes Bill Tiffee oncology Muslims in American history Bryony Jones human leukocyte antigens Native American DNA Test Stephen Oppenheimer Irish DNA Y chromosomal haplogroups Irish history powwows Holocaust GlobalFiler genetics Moundbuilders Pueblo Grande Museum megapopulations Native American DNA Kari Carpenter Donald N. Yates Kate Wong Henry VII Olmec Gypsies American Journal of Human Genetics Mother Qualla Wendell Paulson Bradshaw Foundation Sir Joshua Reynolds haplogroup N District of Columbia Fritz Zimmerman personal genomics Tutankamun consanguinity Black Irish Salt River hoaxes Israel Stony Creek Baptist Church Jon Entine Virginia genealogy rock art Sea Peoples Zizmer Austronesian, Filipinos, Australoid Sasquatch Paleolithic Age Beringia statistics rapid DNA testing Iran Jewish GenWeb INORA mitochondrial DNA palatal tori The Nation magazine Basques Britain BBCNews Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Les Miserables Keros Solutreans Michael Grant Juanita Sims Mucogee Creeks David Cornish myths forensics haplogroup B medicine Altai Turks Columbia University occipital bun Ananya Mandal Sarmatians race Life Technologies Alec Jeffreys Wales

Archive