How Old Is Aboriginal Culture?
Although it is well acknowledged that Aboriginal culture is ancient, with historical evidence pointing to Aboriginal people arriving in Australia 50,000 years ago, new evidence suggests that Aboriginal Australians are in fact the oldest continuous culture on Earth. In this article, we take a look at the origins of Aboriginal Australians and exactly what these new studies have found.
The journey from Africa
According to recent studies of the Aboriginal genome sequence, Aboriginal Australians are actually descendants of the very first people to leave Africa between 64,000 and 75,000 years ago. From here, it was found that the long journey of Aboriginal Australians took them to Asia approximately 24,000 years before other groups migrated to and populated both Asia and Europe. All of this was found by studying the DNA of an Aboriginal man from Western Australia who was found to contain no genetic material related to European immigrants. These findings have led researchers to conclusively determine that Aboriginal Australians are the oldest population that has existed outside of the African continent, with the potential of being one of the oldest living populations in the world.
Aboriginal Australian ties to Siberia
A study also conducted by researchers released in the American Journal of Human Genetics also found that Aboriginal Australians also made it to Siberia during their long journey to Australia. It is here that they are believed to have interbred with the Denisovans, a group of humans that are believed to have been descended from Neanderthals.This was confirmed in the analysis of a finger bone that was excavated in Siberia, where it was found that Aboriginal Australians shared 3-5% DNA with Denisovans, and with these findings it was also discovered that the DNA of the Denisovans was also evident in present-day New Guineans (which contained 7%-8% shared DNA) and an indigenous tribe that is located in the Philippines.The research conducted establishes that this occurred 44,000 years ago, prior to the Australian continent separating from Papua New Guinea.
The oldest continuing culture known to man
It’s interesting to note that as the first humans to leave Africa up to 75,000 years ago, Aboriginal Australian’s genetic relationship with Denisovans helped them acclimatise to wildly new climates on their way to Australia. In any case, the trek that Aboriginal Australians made over the course of thousands of years is undoubtedly an impressive feat.