Ongolo Proud African

Scientific study confirms Africa is the motherland

4 October 2023

Have you ever wondered why Africa is often referred to as the "motherland" or the "cradle of mankind"? The Greeks and the Latins like to take credit for everything; however, we will give the honours of who named Africa to one of our own: the Egyptian word, Afru-ika, means motherland. 

Why is the name so fitting? Africa is the oldest inhabited continent on earth and where humans are believed to have evolved more than 200,000 years ago. And now a new scientific study has explained how humans left Africa more than 84,000 years ago. 

Scientists from the University of Southampton in the UK and Shantou University in China have established that Africans started migrating from the continent 84,000 years ago by following river channels that have since dried up. The scientists found hand tools buried in the Jordanian rift valley, which implies that Africans travelled north through Jordan and the Middle East before spreading to Asia and eventually, Europe.

This new theory brings into question the previously held belief that migrants waited for the Red Sea to dry up before crossing it from present day East Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. Just how low would the Red Sea have to have been for this to be true?

This gives new context to modern-day challenges of migration and climate change. Please share your thoughts in the comments. 

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