Conventional scientific wisdom holds that modern humans evolved in the East African savannah. But what if the cradle of human evolution was actually the Central African forest, as hinted by new Y-chromosome results? How might this change our understanding of human evolution? Does the forest still influence who we are today? The Relocating Human Origins conference explores the implications of a forest origin for human population genetics, disease ecology, social systems, and cultural evolution. The conference will take place in Cambridge on Friday 5th July and present a number of invited and submitted talks culminating in a panel discussion in the afternoon.

The Relocating Human Origins Conference is hosted by the Biological Anthropology Division of the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge. The inspiration for ‘what if Adam lived in the forest’ is drawn from recent analyses of Y-chromosome data. Mendez et al. (2013) published their results in an American Journal of Human Genetics article, ‘An African American paternal lineage adds an extremely ancient root to the human Y-chromosome phylogenetic tree’.

For more information about the Division of Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, please click here.