Just few years ago we were saying that the Neanderthal people, another Human species, were vanished from Europe and Asia under the conquer of the Modern Humans. Now things are changing thanks to the development of genetics. Neanderthal did not vanish: they were assimilated by the modern human genome. They become us.
This idea of assimilation is very important to me, because it gives us the idea that a people not only manage to survive, but they were integrated. Probably there were a lot of violence, suffering and fear to the unknown, but interbreeding means also love, union, becoming one flesh.
In the coming year we will have more news about our Human Album and I am very happy that I can witness it. I myself made a DNA test and I discovered I bring the genome of different peoples, thanks to my South American origins, a historical breeding ground.
There are a lot statements coming from past conqueror powers saying about the extinction of indigenous groups. One recurrent fact to state it is the extinction of the people’s language. In the moment a ethnic minority forgets the language due to the reigning cultural power, in that moment the dominants state that such ethnic group is extincted and, thus, the group lost its rights to things like land and participation. On this point, the DNA can talk by itself. In my original country, Colombia, we were taught of the extinction of several indigenous peoples. Now I am not so sure of that and we need to work on it to rescue the visibility of those groups.
In the other NOVA’s documentary ‘First Peoples’ about Asia, scientists suggest that other Human species were integrated by the advance of the modern human, enriching its genome. I suspect that the existence of different racial features categorized in African, Caucasian and Asian, probably could be explained in this modern human interbreeding with other ancient human species. Let us see for more research.
It is a pity that NOVA’s documentary on first peoples in the Americas, cut off South America and did not touch the possibility of the Vikings exploration. It states only in the old theory of first human settlers from the Siberia steppes through the Bering Strait. Just looking to my own ethnic makeup, it is possible to see that I am 5% Scandinavian (Viking!). The most plausible reason is that my Scandinavian ancestor migrated to Spain, then his descendants in Spain migrated to what is Colombia in the 16th century. But, why if that Scandinavian genome comes through my Indian American ancestors that interbreed with Vikings in North America much before the Spaniards arrived to South America? Too much, eh? 🙂 There are many other questions, for example, why I have 6% of Chinese ! Oh, my ancestors… so…