Study Suggests San Bushmen May Be Oldest Population On Earth
A group of San Bushmen from the Khomani San community pose for a photograph in the Southern Kalahari desert on October 16, 2009 in the Kalahari, South Africa. One of the largest studies of African genetics by an international team from the University of Pennsylvania, published in April 2009, revealed that the San of Southern Africa are the most genetically diverse on earth, and that the San homeland could be the spot where modern humanity began.
The Central Kalahari Game reserve is one of South Africa's largest nature reserves, bordering Botswana and Namibia, and is home to the San, or Bushmen, the last indigenous people of South Africa. Many of the San groups were forcibly removed from their ancestral land in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in 2002 by neighbouring Botswana's government to make way for Diamond Mining, leaving their traditional nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle under threat. In 2006 the Bushmen won an historic ruling against the government allowing them to return to their ancestral land. With no direct access to water and the lure of modern trappings many did not return, choosing to stay in the settlements surrounding the park. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)