The very first humans first appeared in Africa before about 60,000 years ago.
After that the history of humankind takes many different paths, some more clearly studied than others.
The east regions of Eurasia are home to about 2.3 billion people today — about 30 percent of the population in the world.
Archaeologists know that modern human habitation has occupied and occupied East Asia for 40,000 years.
But there are lots left to untangle.
Who were the people who came to these regions first and ended up developing agriculture?
Wo came the different populations of?
Which groups ended up becoming dominant and which one died out?
Ancient DNA assists a lot in answering some of these questions.
The genomes of the people who lived many millennia ago are beginning to come up with the history of how Asia was populated.
Wei Gao, Institute of vertebrate paleontology and paleoanthropology, believes well-preserved DNA from ancient bones may reveal how human beings spread into East Asia.
In 2016 I joined Dr. Qiaomei Fu’s Molecular Paleontology Laboratory at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
Our challenge: Solve the history of humans in East Asia, with the help of collaborators that were long dead – old humans who lived in the region in many times since the beginning of time.
Members of the laboratory extract and sequenced ancient DNA using human remains from archaeological sites.
Dr. Fu and I then used computation-genome tools to assess how their DNA related to that of previously sequenced ancient and present-day human beings.
Tianyuan Man, from near-now-present Beijing, and Habnhian People, from present-day Laos and Malaysia, represent two very ancient lines distinct from the East Asians of today.Map OpenStreetMap contributors, modified by The Conversation
One of our sequences come from ancient DNA obtained from the Tianyuan Man, a dynasty in western Beijing.
One of the earliest modern human beings found in East Asia, his genetic sequence has him attracting him as an early ancestor of Asians and Native Americans of the day.
That he lived where China’s current capital iconit shows that the ancestors of today’s Asians have begun in East Asia in the early 40,000s.
Far to the south, from Laos and Malaysia, otas affiliated with the Hawai nhian culture have DNA that, like the Tianyuan Man, show that they are the early ancestors of Asians and Native Americans.
These two came from a totally different lineage than the Tianyuan Man, which suggests that many genetically distinct populations in Asia had occupied in the past.
But currently, no human and every form of human share the same genetic makeup as either Habnhians or Tianyuan man, in both Eastern and Southeast Asia.
Warum did ancestry that persisted for so long disappeared from the present living gene pool of people?
Ancient farmer believe in the key to this answer.
Scientists have learned from plant remains found at archaeological sites that Chinese farmers discovered Yellow River about 10,000 years ago in northern China.
People moved to South China around the same time in the Yangtze River region.
Plant domestication was not started locally and did not come from anywhere, unlike in Europe.
The process took thousands of years to complete and society in East Asia grew more complex with the rise of the 4,000 years.
A recent update to OpenStreetMap contributors likely from around the Yangtze River moved south to Southeast Asia, while millet farmers from around the Yellow River moved north to Siberia.
This is also when rice farming seems to have spread to areas further south from its origins, including lands that are today’s Southeast Asian countries.
DNA tells the story to the story.
When rice farmers from southern China expanded southwards, they not only brought their farming technology but also their genetics to the local populations of Southeast Asian hunters-gatherers.
The overly powerful source of their DNA ended up swamping the local gene pool.
Who still live in Southeast Asia today?
The Skelet of a person who sank about 8,700 years ago in Xiaogao, Shandong, China near the Yellow River.
The ethnicity of this person as northern east Asian can be found in the remains of people who lived in the eastern steppes of Siberia.
I will further north.
Today, ancient Siberian hunters-gatherers show little relation with the East Asians, but later Siberian farmers are close to the East Asians of today.
Farmers from northern China moved into Siberia to bring their DNA with them and thereby caused a sharp decline in the prevalence of the past local hunter-gatherer origin.
– Molecular paleontology lab at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing. – Professor Qiaomei Fu preparing samples for ancient DNA extraction
The Eastern Asians today are not very different genetically from each other.
A lot of DNA is needed to begin to genistically distinguish between people with different cultural histories.
This individual, who lived on Liang island in Taiwan about 8,300 years ago, has southern ancestry found in the residents of Southern China coastal China.
What surprised Dr. Fu and me was how different the DNAs of diverse ancient populations in China were.
We found common DNA around the Yellow River region, a place important for the development of China’s civilization.
This shared DNA represents a Northern East Asian ethnic lineage, different from a Southern East Asian one.
When we analyzed the DNA of people who lived 9,000-8,500 years ago in the south coast of China we realized that already by then much of China shared a shared heritage.
We had thought that their and was different from that of the Yellow River farming communities because they might come from a lineage not closely related to those first East Asian farmers.
Maybe this group would be related to the Tianyuan – Man or Hâabnhians.
People with different lifestyles who lived far apart in northern China near the Yellow River and along the southern China coast since 9,000 years ago have passed their distinctive DNA down to today’s East Asians and Southeast Asians.
Austronesians are the nearest descendants of the Ancient Population from southern China coastline OpenStreetMap contributors, revised by The Conversation
But instead, each person we sampled was inversely related to the present day East Asians.
It means that DNA – that is still shared across China – was widespread 9,000 years ago to all East Asians of today.
Today’s northern and southern Chinese population has more common, similar to those of ancient Yellow River population than with ancient coastal southern Chinese in common.
Thus, early Yellow River farmers migrated north and south and contributed to the Human Genome pool in East and Southeast Asia.
However, the south coastal China ancestry did not vanish.
It maintained small amounts in part and did increase in other amounts.
The influence of eastern Asian ancestors is low on the mainland, but they have a massive impact elsewhere.
On islands ranging from Taiwan Strait to Polynesia live the popular seafarers.
They possess the, highlighting their ancestral roots in coastal south-western China.
connects Tibetans with ancient individuals from Mongolia and northern China and raises questions about the construction of the Tibetan Plateau.
Ancient DNA reveal rapid shiftings in culture over the last 10,000 years across Asia, likely due to migration and cultural exchange.
As long as more ancient human DNA is recovered, scientists can only speculate what precisely survived in East Asia, genetically speaking.
This article was first published by the University of Richmond.
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