Taforalt: Oldest DNA traces discovered in Africa in Morocco
An international team of researchers has approximately approximately 15,000 year old DNA traces found in the pigeon cave (Grotte des Pigeons) near Taforalt, reported the Moroccan Ministry of culture and communication in a statement. The statement adds that this is the oldest nuclear DNA out of Africa is that ever has been successfully analyzed.
This discovery by an international team of archaeologists and geneticists led by Steve Bouzouggar (Director of the National Institute of archaeological sciences and heritage in Rabat) and Said Amzazi (former president of the Mohammed v University in Rabat) was published by the US journal Science.
The members of the scientific team analysed DNA that was extracted from nine human skeletons that were discovered in the pigeon cave, using advanced methods of analysis data of seven individuals and in-depth genome analysis (full genetic code) of five other skeletons.
Due to the age of the fossils, 15,000 years old, and the warm climate in Africa, which are known to be unfavourable for the preservation of genetic material, the results obtained are unprecedented for the African continent that is considered the cradle of humankind. "This is the first and oldest Pleistocene genetic material ever decoded of homo sapiens in Africa," said Bouzouggar Reece.