Indigenous Australians Are Earth's Oldest Civilization

Brilliance | Dec. 18, 2017

The oldest person on Earth lived to 122 years old. Birth certificates and simple tests can easily verify this. But what about the oldest living civilization on Earth? It's tricky to determine how long an entire group has been in the world. But in September 2016, thanks to expansive genomic research published in the journal Nature, it was confirmed that Aboriginal Australians are the world's oldest living civilization. A measly 122 years pales in comparison to the group's 75,000-year history.

The study was authored by an international group of researchers that includes nine Aboriginal leaders. By looking at DNA samples from Aboriginal people from different parts of Australia, the researchers found that Aboriginal people came to the continent 31,000 years ago and have ancestries in Eurasia and Africa that date back 75,000 years. Because discrimination against Aboriginal people in Australia is not uncommon, researchers hope this study may bring more deserved credibility and visibility to the group in the eyes of their countrymen. Learn more about the genetic history of Aboriginal Australians in the video below.

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