This may have happened for religious or cultural reasons that we can only speculate about.But in genetic terms, we have never seen anything like it before.” One other notable finding from the DNA study is evidence of an “uncharacterized” hominin group that interbred with modern humans as they migrated through southeast Asia on their way to Australia.
This is a large island, 150 by 50 km, that has been separate from the mainland for nearly 10,000 years.
It was called the 'Island of the Dead' by the tribes in southern part of the Australian mainland around the Murray River, probably because a creation being from the Dreamtime, Ngurunderi, crossed to the island, from where he travelled to the Milky Way.
Working in close collaboration with indigenous Australian elders and leaders, an international team of researchers obtained permission to extract DNA from the saliva of 83 Aboriginal Australians and 25 Papuans from New Guinea and sequence their complete genetic information.
While some scholars have theorized that indigenous Australians descended from a separate, earlier migration than that of Eurasian people, the study’s authors report that the majority of non-Africans stem from a single ancestral group of migrants who left Africa approximately 72,000 years ago and eventually spread across the other continents.
“It’s a really weird scenario,” said evolutionary geneticist Eske Willerslev, a lead author of the study and a professor at the Center for Geo Genetics at the University of Copenhagen.
“A few immigrants appear in different villages and communities around Australia.
It was based on the finds at Kangaroo Island that the first suggestion was made that colonisation by Aboriginal People might date from the Pleistocene.
The Aboriginal People on the nearby mainland had no water craft capable of making the dangerous crossing, having only rafts and bark canoes that were propelled with poles.
Further support for this conclusion was the fact that the dingo never reached the island, as was the case with Tasmania.