The view looking out from the Mota cave in the Ethiopian highlands, where the remains containing the ancient genome were found. Credit: Kathryn and John Arthur

The first homo sapiens is believed to have migrated from Africa about 70,000 years ago and spread to Europe, Asia and eventually over Bering Straits to the American Continents.

Now scientists also claim that there was a major re-emigration back to East Africa about 3,000 years ago. The researchers reached this conclusion after analyzing DNA from the skull of a man who lived over 4,000 years ago in what is now Ethiopia in East Africa.

The researchers analyzed the genome of this man, called Mota, and compared what separates him from older skeletons from Europe and now living individuals in Africa. The conclusion is that there must have been at least one major repatriation to Africa about 3,000 years ago.

Only now does technology allow us to analyze DNA from warmer regions, where DNA degrade more easily from age and heat.

The study is published in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

M Gallego Llorente et al “Ancient Ethiopian Genome Reveals Extensive Eurasian admixture throughout the African continent”
8 Oct 2015 Science