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First significant expansion of human population happened 60,000 yrs ago

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 15:09

Washington: Researchers studied genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations to determine that the first significant expansion of human population happened in Paleolithic age (60,000-80,000 years ago).

Now, researchers Aime, et al., compared their genetic results with archaeological findings.

The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

The authors through their findings have concluded that the first significant expansion dated back to the Paleolithic rather than Neolithic age.

Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favoured the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic.

Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions.

The study has been published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.


First Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 15:09
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