You already know that Africa is the cradle of mankind according to science, but did you also know that the Garden of Eden was in Africa too? Whether or not you believe in the creation theory of how we got here, the Garden of Eden has always been a fascinating topic for people across the world. Many people have always been divided on whether it actually existed and where in the world it was located. Well, all the questions can now be put to rest as scientists have found the Garden of Eden in Botswana.
A study done by researchers led by Professor Vanessa Hayes led to the conclusion that modern humans first evolved 200,000 years ago around Lake Makgadikgadi in northern Botswana. At the time, the area was extremely fertile and home to various fish and wildlife. As the local climate changed, however, the earliest humans had to relocate after 70,000 years. This led to them seeking more fertile areas, even outside Africa, further developed their genetic, ethnic and cultural identities.
The process of locating the Garden of Eden was a pretty extensive one. It involved the research team collecting mitochondrial DNA from 1,217 Africans. This type of DNA is only passed down from our mothers. According to Professor Hayes, a geneticist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, “Mitochondrial DNA acts like a time capsule of our ancestral mothers, accumulating changes slowly over generations”. Studying how each individual’s mitochondrial DNA is connected is the key to mapping out the movements of our earliest ancestors.
Looking at Lake Makgadikgadi it is hard to believe that it could have once been the Garden of Eden. This is because all that is left now is huge arid salt pans covering part of the massive Kalahari desert. However, a few fossils remain as well as evidence of forest and grassland around it. In addition, maternal descendants of modern humans ancestors who stayed in the Kalahari region and adapted to the dry conditions can still be found there today.
So, will you be going to Botswana soon to see the Garden of Eden?
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