Bayira, an ancient Ethiopian skeleton, provides the earliest African genome

15 Oct

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John_Arthur_ Kathryn_Arthur_Matthew_Curtis in Ethiopia John Arthur, Kathryn Arthur and Matthew Curtis in Ethiopia

In 2012, an archaeological team funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Kathryn and John Arthur (both of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg) and Matthew Curtis (Ventura College and UCLA Extension), excavated Mota Cave in the Gamo Highlands of Southwestern Ethiopia and recovered a 4,500-year-old male human skeleton that has provided the first complete ancient human (Homo sapiens) genome sequenced from the African continent.  Jay Stock (University of Cambridge) conducted the skeletal morphological analysis and Andrea Manica (University of Cambridge) and Ron Pinhasi (University College Dublin) headed a team responsible for the DNA sequencing and analysis.  The results of this research were recently published in Science.

Mota Cave_5 Mota Cave

The archaeologists have given the ancient man of Mota Cave the name Bayira, meaning “first born” in the Gamo language.  Bayira’s skeleton and the archaeological…

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