Source: Faces of America: "Migration Sensations"
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Migration Sensations Transcript (Document)
Narration: Basically, scientists believe that the ancestry of every person alive today can be traced back to east Africa. There, nearly 200,000 years ago, human beings evolved for the next 150,000 years or so, these early humans remained within the confines of Africa.
Henry Louis Gates Jr.: Your maternal haplogroup is called L0A. It’s a subgroup of the most ancient haplogroup of all, which arose about 150,000 years ago in Africa.
Narration: Eventually, about 50,000 years ago, a few of these people decided it was time to move, beginning what would become humanity’s most remarkable migration. Over the millennia that followed, their descendents gradually expanded to the east and the north.
Gates: Your haplogroup arose soon after human beings first left Africa and appears to have spread rapidly reaching southeastern Asia. And at that time the ice age would have made that area comparable to arctic regions today. That’s where you’re people were hanging out under all that snow and ice.
Yamaguchi: Yikes, crazy.
Gates: Maybe that’s why you ice skate. You just took to it naturally, those genes just kicked in.
Yamaguchi: It pulled me in. Where’s the ice?
Narration: Some ventured deep into Central and East Asia, eventually getting all the way to the Americas, some 16,000 years ago. Others wandered into the heart of Europe.
Gates: We found that you belong to haplogroup K. K moved into the British Isles from Germany. It patterns the Celtic expansion after the end of the last ice age. You have a very distinctive genetic…
Streep: We’re the ones that can do all the accents.
Narration: Each haplogroup, each major branch on every human family tree, sprouted other, smaller branches – over time giving rise to collections of extended families, each of which shares a common genetic signature. Every person alive today descends from these families.
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