Human migration and population analysis
Santos, Fabrício R. Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Tyler-Smith, Chris Human Evolution Team, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
- Population analysis
- Lineage and genomic analysis
- DNA history of the first journey to the New World
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Before Christopher Columbus's famous voyage in 1492 and the beginning of modern transoceanic journeys, humans had established themselves on all habitable continents. This initial settlement of the continents by Homo sapiens originated approximately 200,000 years ago in Africa, and humans further dispersed into Eurasia, Oceania, and the Americas in the last 100,000 years. Those populations that still live in the same continent that their ancestors inhabited prior to 1492 are today referred to as indigenous or aboriginal populations. Thus, Europeans (for example, Basques and Germans) are indigenous or aboriginal populations of Europe, Africans (for example, San and Pygmies) are indigenous populations of Africa, and Native Americans are indigenous populations of the Americas. However, there are scant historical records of the origins of most of these populations, and, in any case, these records do not go back before 5000 years ago. Therefore, the prehistory of indigenous populations can only be deduced and reconstructed from vestiges investigated by different scientific disciplines.
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