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

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

Archive