You may remember a few posts ago I talked about the amazing National Geographic Genographic Project which traces human migration across the globe. Steve and I submitted our DNA to add to the database, and also to find out what our roots are.
The results are in! Let’s just say it was a really long walk. All of us can be traced back to Africa 150,000 years ago. Then various groups wandered off in different directions. My people trudged off to West Africa and hung out there for a long time. Then, about 80,000 years ago, one of my matrilineal ancestors had a DNA mutation and eventually her clan headed north. We wandered into the Mediterranean region, and may have even met up with a Neandertal or two. (I wish I could ask them!)
Finally we get to the branch of my tree which split off about 50,000 years ago with another mutation. My matrilineal line crossed the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia – a tough hike and one I can’t imagine making unless ice cream had been invented and was just on the other side.
The Genographic Project produced a very detailed report of our DNA, including which genes mutated along the way and a map of our ancestors’ migrations. If you’re geeky like me, you will love participating in the Genographic Project. It’s fascinating!