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Bushmen are likely the oldest population of humans on Earth

By Julian Worker     May 4, 2009 in Science
Scientists analysed the genetic variation of more than 3,000 Africans from different peoples and found that the San people of southern Africa, who have lived as hunter-gatherers for thousands of years, were among the most genetically diverse group.
The results of 10 years of research into African DNA has been published in the journal Science. Blood samples were taken from over 3,000 Africans and the findings showed that modern Africans had the most diverse DNA of all racial groups on Earth indicating that humanity did indeed start on the African continent. The San people of southern Africa are likely to be the oldest population of humans on Earth. Also known as bushmen, the San are directly descended from the original population of early human ancestors.
A study of 121 distinct populations of Africans found they are all descended from 14 ancestral populations. The differences and similarities of their genes closely follows the differences and similarities of their spoken languages, despite some of these populations living many thousands of miles apart.
For example, the Sandawe and Hadza of Tanzania share common ancestors with the Khoisan speakers of southern Africa – these three populations all speak "click" languages.
More about Bushmen, Human dna, Africa, San, Human history
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