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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines varieties of genetic analysis, data comparability and the Last Paragraphs Problem, modern human origins and modern hunter-gatherers, and Late Pleistocene and Holocene population dynamics. Generation of historical reconstructions based on the biological relations of modern African populations allows researchers to juxtapose such reconstructions with those based on cultural variation. Comparisons between patterning revealed using these different approaches might indicate that genetic and cultural variability run in parallel. In other cases, genetic and cultural patterning might be quite different. There are many challenges faced by researchers working elsewhere in Africa, making the elucidation of the complex relations between genetic variation and variation in different aspects of human culture certainly a long-term process. The development of truly interdisciplinary research initiatives, involving genetics, archaeology, historical linguistics, and related disciplines, undoubtedly has the potential to transform our understanding of the African past.

Keywords: genetic analysis, Last Paragraphs Problem, human origins, modern hunter-gatherers, Holocene population dynamics

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