Asian Expansion of Modern Human out of Africa. H. Li MOE Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.
Global population of the modern human originated in Africa around 200 thousand years ago, which has been proved by various evidences, especially by genetic evidences. Recent studies revealed another important event during the natural history of modern human, i.e., the Asian Expansion. The Asian Expansion was supported by both linguistic and genetic evidences. In 2011, Atkinson reported a study on the phonemic diversity of world languages, and found an African Origin of the present languages. However, more detailed analyses on the phonemic diversity reflected an Asian Expansion rather than an African Origin. All the languages, except for the Khoisan languages, derived from the expansion from western Asia around Iran. The Asian Expansion was also supported by genetic evidence. Y chromosome haplogroup phylogenetic tree has an African root, but only haplogroups A and B were African aboriginal types, i.e., these two haplogroups have never leaven Africa. All the other haplogroups, all within CF and DE, derived from one ancient type with a marker M168 out of Africa around 50-70 thousand years ago. They expanded from western Asia around 3-4 thousand years ago, and gave birth to all the haplogroups from C to T. Therefore, the haplogroup with highest frequency in Africa, haplogroup E, was also from the Asian Expansion. In Africa, Haplogroup A is mostly in Khoisan and Saharan populations, and haplogroup B is mostly in Pygmies and other populations around Congo. The major populations of Africa, sometimes called Bantu or Niger-Congo people, were then most probably came back from Asia. The Asian Expansion was firstly hypothesized by German biologist Ernst Haeckel in his map of human origin and migration in 1863. Now, we are accumulating more evidences.
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