While most scientists agree that mankind originated in Africa, there has been much discussion over the years as to what route they took out of Africa to expand and travel via prehistoric human migration.
Egypt Major Thoroughfare for Leaving Africa
Now, genetic information from prehistoric humans shows that Egypt was a major gateway for prehistoric human migration and travel into the rest of the world. So says a study done by scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger and the University of Cambridge by analyzing the genome of modern populations of humans living in Egypt and Ethiopia.
The scientists used the genetic data from six groups of modern humans from Northeastern Africa. The test subjects were 100 Egyptians and 5 Ethiopian groups of 25 people in each group.
Two Probable Routes Were Used For Prehistoric Human Migration
The scientists determined that while they are positive that the prehistoric humans began in Africa, there are two probable routes that were likely used for travel out of Africa, and the migrating humans chose these routes about 60,000 years ago. There were two prehistoric human migration routes to choose from. One route went through Egypt and Sinai in a northern direction and the other choice was to go through Ethiopia, via the Bab el Mandeb strait and Arabian Peninsula, which is to the south.
The genetic testing and study ended up revealing a closer genetic likeness between the Egyptian and Eurasian peoples than there was seen between the Ethiopian peoples and the Eurasians. This showed that the majority of prehistoric humans preferred to travel the northern route out of Africa.
Pre Human Migration Findings Fill In Part of the Evolutionary Puzzle
The researchers’ findings, which are now printed in the American Journal of Human Genetics, help to fill in part of the evolutionary puzzle of mankind’s past. The data can also be used to help put together a public catalogue of the diversity of the genome for Ethiopian and Egyptian peoples, which could help with medical or anthropological research in the future.
Most scientists today agree that once prehistoric humans evolved into the first examples of more modern humans that they started their migration out of Africa. It is thought that they may have used land bridges or rafts to get across oceans. In addition, fossils have proven that the Neanderthals were already in the areas where the pre-human migration was taking place.