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After Near Extinction, Humans Split Into Isolated Bands

April 27th, 2008

‘Bushmen, or San, wearing skins and carrying bows and arrows cross a salt pan in Namibia’s Nyae Nyae Conservancy.’

National Geography News, After Near Extinction, Humans Split Into Isolated Bands:

“After nearly going extinct 150,000 years ago, humankind split into small groups – living in isolation for nearly a hundred thousand years before “reuniting” and migrating out of Africa, a new gene study says.

At one point our species may have been down to as few as 2,000 individuals, probably due to climate change – a longstanding theory bolstered by the new findings.

The research fills a gap in our understanding of what was happening in Africa before humans first left the continent.

“The assumption has always been that the original population [in sub-Saharan Africa] was very small but probably a single population,” said Spencer Wells, head of the Genographic Project, which oversaw the study.

“Turns out, that is not the case.””

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