Jul 16, 2019 | Updated: 10:46 AM EDT

Hair DNA Links 50,000 Years of Pre-Continental Drift Australian Aboriginal Settlement

Mar 10, 2017 11:09 AM EST

Aborigines Arrive In Canberra For Apology To The Stolen Generations
(Photo : Andrew Sheargold/Getty Images) Academe-backed Aboriginal Heritage Project revealed a staggering conclusion - Aboriginal communities exist and continually thrives for 50,000 years in the Australian continent.

Academe-backed Aboriginal Heritage Project revealed a staggering conclusion - aboriginal communities exist and continually thrives for 50,000 years in the Australian continent. Scientists analyzed hair DNA samples and discovered that the Aboriginal family's genetic map traced far back more than everybody thinks.

Since 1928 to 1970s, several expeditions led to the discovery of anthropological specimens. Most remarkable among them are 111 hair samples that are housed in South Australian Museum. Scientists compared the mitochondrial DNA from those samples into the modern Aboriginal Australians.

Though there is a common notion that Aboriginals are connected to Papua New Guinea, it appears that they came from a single foundation that lived in Australia 50,000 years ago. However, New Guinea's land mass separated from the mainland. This results to island-concentrated population boom within a span of 1,500 to 2,000 years, according to Nature Journal.

According to Professor Alan Cooper, University of Adelaide's ACAD Director, there are patterns that suggest Aboriginals lived in scattered geographical locations within the Australian continent at that time. These results contradict what is being taught in history books regarding the length of Aboriginal occupancy by at least 10 times.

One Kaurna elder who donated DNA sample, Lewis O'Brien, said that they always have known Australia as home since the start of time. But with the conclusion of Aboriginal Heritage Project, they gained scientific backing to their claims. O'Brien calls the study as "Stolen Generation" that can reunite Aboriginals with their Australian identity, The Guardian reported.

Meanwhile, the South Australian Museum also has other cultural, genealogical and even geographical data of Aboriginal people. These collections are important in reconstructing the genetic history of Aboriginals who were affected by enforced relocation and child removal of the early Australian government. Museum director Brian Oldman stressed that rewriting history is not easy, but Aboriginal Heritage Project is a great steppingstone.

Currently, scientists plan to expand the DNA testing to study nuclear genome. This approach can lead to traces of paternal lineages and specifically connect them to their modern descendants.

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