Africa, Where It All Began

The final topic for Geography Awareness Week is human origins. The oldest human fossils found on Earth are in the valleys of Ethiopia. Genetic evidence also shows that the human species likely had its start in that part of the world.

anthro2.jpgPBS recently ran an excellent series called The Journey of Man, about the work of geneticist Spencer Wells, leader of The Genographic Project, which aims to trace the origins of humanity via clues in our DNA. National Geographic also has a site all about this project, and you can even participate by sending them some of your own genetic material. You have to buy a test kit for about $100 and they will add your DNA record to the database.

More info:
The Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins program.
National Geographic’s Atlas of the Human Journey.
Origins of the human race in Africa,” at the BBC Web site.
National Geographic’s archaeology news wire.