Re: cavalli-sforza on San

Gerold Firl (
8 Feb 1995 18:59:50 -0800

In article <> writes:

>p. 176. The map of the early distribution of Khoisanids (fig.
>3.2.2) shows the sites of presumed skeletal remains of the
>San. The proximity of East and North Africa to Southwest Asia
>makes it extremely likely that there was admixture between
>Africa and West Asia.

Keep in mind that until recent, historical times (roughly within the last
1000 years) the San occupied all of southern africa outside the rain
forest, approximately as far north as uganda, after which were found
nilito-sudanese and afar peoples (this was before the negro breakout from
west africa). I am a little surprised to see a land connection hypothesised
between the San and west asia; I find this quite unlikely. I find a more
plausible explanation to lie in the madegascar connection between africa
and asia. "Polynesian" seafarers reached madegascar fairly recently,
finding the island (as far as I know) uninhabited. I expect that they also
reached the continent, and any asian genes found among the modern San seem
more likely to have come by sea than by land.

>It is not easy, however, to distinguish between
>the two hypotheses that Khoisans are the root of all humans
>or the result of an admixture, for in many respects these two
>hypotheses give the same expectations, especially looking at
>gene frequencies................ it may be useful to
>consider both hypotheses possible and wait for further
>elements that may help in distinguishing them.

It may be worthwhile to compare with gene samples from madegascar. The
malegasy language has been identified as related to polynesian, though
their appears to have been a substantial influx of african genes to the
current mix.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf