The field of anthropology continues to get upended over the last 20 years. There are two most interesting developments, from my viewpoint and personal studies. One was the discovery that there was a time in relatively recent history — 50,000+ years ago — when FIVE different species of human beings roamed the earth at the same time. All different species, but all human. Yes Neanderthal was one of them. And so too were Homo sapien sapiens. That’s us. Three others also lived on earth simultaneously with us and Neanderthal. [will come back to list their exact species name].
The other development of course was the cracking of the genome or genetic code of the most modern, or better put the last surviving human being, Homo sapien sapiens. This remarkable scientific achievement changed anthropology forever. We no longer classify humans from a nationality perspective, but from a tribal i.e. genetic perspective.
From a species perspective almost all human beings are genetically 80-95% Homo sapiens, with anywhere between 5-20% Neanderthal. In other words, no one is strictly a Homo sapien as their species.
From a racial perspective, we’ve brought it down to 4 different races, sub Saharan African, Caucasian, south eastern Asian, and north eastern Asian. In my opinion this is a deeply flawed and soon to change conclusion, because what race are norther Africans a part of? They aren’t Caucasian nor are they south or north eastern Asian.
From there we go what genetic TRIBE(s) everyone is from. And this is done through genetic testing now, NOT from where people live or where they used to live or where their ancestors lived. A person may live in America, their ancestors lived all over Europe, but genetically they are Russian and Scandinavian, since Scandinavians originally populated Russia. Someone like me for instance who is half italian half English is genetically a small part italian a small part english a larger part German and and an even larger part Scandinavian. And for obvious reasons. Since the Vikings (modern day Scandinavian) were the first people to populate Germany, and then both the regions of England and Italy; the Germans came soon after to those regions. So our family may be “from” Italy and England. But genetically we’re primarily Scandinavian and German for a much longer time period.
Another fascinating aspect of the genetic testing revolution of anthropology is how it dissolves the idea people have that being Jewish is a religious demarcation, not a nationality. They’re right about that. It’s not a nationality. But it is it’s own unique and singular genetic tribe, different from every other human tribe on earth.
The primary change — and this is still a fast moving evolution in the science — is that #1 we no longer categorize humans by nationality (from an anthropological sense); we classify human beings according to what tribe they are of based on their genetic markers, and there are a LOT more unique genetic tribes of human being than we originally theorized; and where a person or their ancestors lived for the last few hundred years doesn’t matter half as much as we used to give credit for.
In any case, the blow article presents a recent dig that blows the entire dating system of human beings off by a good million years, making us much older than we originally presumed. More later.