In once-lush wetlands some 200,000 years ago, it is believed that the species Homo sapiens originated. Considered to be modern-day humans, Homo sapiens evolved from their Neanderthal ancestors and the reign of humans began. Scientists have just recently pinpointed the place where most humans likely originated. Geneticist Vanessa Hayes of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney conducted research using DNA samples as a way to find just where humans may have come from. Mitochondrial DNA is a material that’s passed from mother to child that may allow researchers like Hayes to find a maternal line that reaches far into the past.
An Ancient Lake
After the DNA samples were taken and analyzed, further archaeological and geological research helped Hayes discover something incredible. She stumbled upon evidence of a large, ancient lake that eventually developed into wetlands. It is this place that some experts believe was the home of the first humans.
For years, researchers have proposed that humankind can be traced back to the continent of Africa. This was over seven million years ago when humans began to evolve from primates.