Specifying which culture and civilization is the oldest on Earth is a rather complex matter. It is no wonder that, over the centuries, trying to find the answer has produced such fundamental debate among historians. Until recently, almost everything was based on speculation and giving a single answer to this question seemed an impossible thing to do.
It has been widely believed since the 1980s that humans started spreading across the globe from Africa over 150,000 years ago and reached Australia some 60,000 years ago. Some accounts state that the descendants of these people have the longest continuous culture in the world, and for a long time it has been speculated that Australia’s Aboriginal population is one of the oldest known cultures and civilizations in the world.
New evidence presented last year shows this theory to be true. A relatively new study called A genomic history of Aboriginal Australia has managed to trace the migration of contemporary Aboriginals from Africa to Australia 58,000 years ago.
The study, which was published in Nature in October 2016, was led by Professor Eske Willerlsev from the University of Cambridge. The research team were able to sequence the genome of 83 Aboriginal people and 25 Papuans from the New Guinea highlands, and it is the most comprehensive genomic study of Indigenous Australians done in Australia so far. Prior to this, only three Aboriginal Australian genomes had been sequenced. * Continue reading on the next page