A paper in Nature claims to have pinpointed a fertile river valley in northern Botswana as the ancestral home of all human beings around 200,000 years ago.

We have known for some time that modern humans … people who looked like us and could use tools … originated some time ago in Africa.  However … not all of these first “people” were our ancestors.  Some might have faces like ours, others teeth like ours, hands are a great set of gadgets and even big brains are of some use.  When and where that all came together might be called the garden of Eden .an ideal place for our first ancestors to copulate and propagate.

What if DNA from modern humans could show that just a few folks {at least for human females}, all came from one place? That would be the Garden of Eden!  Now this amazing paper tells  us the Eve and Adam lived in a real lush garden, a fertile valley that covered parts of Namibia and Zimbabwe.  An enormous lake that sustained our ancestors for 70,000 years.  Then, between 110,000 and 130,000 years ago, the climate started to change and fertile corridors opened up out of this valley. For the first time, the population began to disperse – paving the way for modern humans to migrate out of Africa, and ultimately, across the world.Those first humans prospered in an ideal home.

Meanwhile, another study in Uganda is showing African specific variants that predict diabetes and heart disease.

The paper reports studies of maternal DNA, that is the mitochondrial genome, show early evolution of a common marker that is concentrated today in this region of Africa.   From this Garden, “The first migrants ventured northeast, followed by a second wave of migrants who traveled southwest. A third population remained in the homeland until today.” These ancestors migrated southwest flourished and experienced steady population growth. They say this could be due to an adaptation to marine foraging.


Of course the next question is still open … when did these ancestors bite the apple?

Anatomically modern Eve and Adam likely would not yet have had our immense powers of speech.

That event, perhaps 70.000 years ago, may have occured in …. ?


Your Comment