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

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

Archive