Throughout modern human history, we’ve looked to our past to try and discover our origins. This is clear from the fascination that ancient civilizations such as those of Egypt, Greece and Rome still evoke today. Now, though, genetic testing overseen by a team of researchers has finally revealed which civilization began humanity’s journey. And it’s not the group of people you might think it is.
It almost goes without saying that some ancient cultures have more of a presence in the modern world than others. Egypt’s mighty pyramids are impossible to ignore, for instance, while ancient Greek ideas still underpin everything from art to math and science. Similarly, both democracy and empire as they have been practiced in the Western world owe a lot to ancient Rome.
Such factors don’t make those civilizations humanity’s oldest, however. Other early civilizations include the people of the Indus Valley, who lived in what are now parts of India and Pakistan, and the agricultural innovators of South and Central America. Those past civilizations dated back thousands of years.