Four children were buried during the stone age in an area known today as western Cameroon. A team of researchers has analyzed their bones and elaborated on a new study that offers fascinating details about an ancient population.
One of the most surprising details is represented by the fact that these children are not related to the current Bantu speaking cultures that can be found within the regions. A DNA analysis has shown that they are closer to modern hunter-gatherer groups that can be wound within Africa, and the link between them and Bantu speaking groups is quite thin.
The new data, along with information about an unknown ghost population, is quite exciting, and it could explain why Africa remains the most genetically diverse region for humans in the world. A large number of artifacts and 18 human burials were located at the Shum Laka rock shelter. The site has been in use for at least 30,000 years.
Scientists Found An Ancient Ghost Population In Africa
For the purpose of the new study, the researchers decided to remain focused on the burials of four children who lived during the transition period between the Stone Age and the Metal Age.
Within the study, the researchers analyzed the remains of a 4-year-old boy and a 15-year-boy that were found in a double burial that took place almost 8,000 years ago. The two other sets of remains were a bit younger, with an age of approximately 3,000 years. In this case, a 4-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy were uncovered in nearby burials.
Despite the impressive gap between the burials, the children were distant cousins. Up to one-third of their, DNA could be tied to hunters and gatherers in Central Africa. However, the other two-thirds are associated with a lost human population that hasn’t been observed in the past.
The study has been well-received by other researchers, and it was published in a scientific journal.