Scientists have long believed that modern humans migrated from Ethiopia into the Middle East, Asia, and Europe on their way to forming civilization as we know it -- but not so, says new research.
Stunning new findings indicate that ideas researchers had about how human beings left Africa are completely wrong, and the real land that birthed civilization was probably Egypt, not Ethiopia.
For decades, archaeologists believe that modern humans departed Africa through Ethiopia on their way to colonizing the rest of planet Earth, but Egypt now looks like the most likely candidate, according to EurekAlert.
To make their findings, a scientific team examined genetic samples from people in both Ethiopia and Egypt, and they found that people in Egypt were far more closely related to early humans that departed Africa, indicating that Egypt is therefore the most likely place where humans stopped before moving into the rest of the world, according to the study, which was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
One scientist who was involved in the research said that humans probably departed Africa about 60,000 years ago based on the genetic information, which was collected from six different populations in Northeast Africa. Scientists had been presented with two possible routes from Africa to the other continents: through Egypt and Sinai, which is called the northern route, or through Ethiopia and the Babel Mandeb strait to the Arabian Peninsula, which has been termed the southern route.
The genetic research indicated that Eurasians and Egypts had a lot more in common than Eurasians and Ethiopians, indicating that the northern route was the correct answer all along.
Paleoanthropologists agree that the mass exodus occurred between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago, although they disagree as to whether it involved one migration or many of them.
The travelers probably used land bridges or rafts to cross, and they later became the first modern human civilizations in the continents of Europe and Asia.