Our Anthropocene Adventure…

by Leona Graham on 16 June, 2011

in Observations of Homo Sapiens

In the last several years I’ve been caught up in knowing ‘who we really are’–if it is indeed possible, that is, ‘deep ancestry’, beyond ancestry.com worldviews to genographic.org ones…

Both my husband and I have done the mouth-swab DNA adventure via National Geographic-sponsored (or linked…) Genographic Project (Dr Spencer & Co). He’s descended from the matriarchy-destroying Kurgans (supposedly) and myself, from the earliest types of agricultural settlers (in ancient Persia or present day Iran or thereabouts)–that is, our mutant genes from these folks, as we all descend ‘out of Africa’ from what is now East Kenya. I’ve now convinced my younger brother to do one so we can access my father’s line…

It’s quite an adventure, our Anthropocene Journey though the ages. Almost addictive. One of the last books I read on the subject is Stephen Oppenheimer’s Out of Eden: The peopling of the world (Constable 2003), which followed my reading of his fascinating earlier work: Eden in the East; The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia. It can become quite complex, the science of DNA etcetera so one has to bear with it…sometimes simply sift through the charts (glancing at them rather than get lost in them). But when I first started this adventure it was the works by Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes that really caught my interest, notably The Seven Daughters of Eve, Adam’s Curse and The  Blood of the Isles. He seems to have helped ‘popularize’ the study of our human ancestry by making the information ‘more available.’ Oppenheimer does this too, in his own style, and what I enjoy about his work is the inclusion of some of his own personal self, process and family.

This is all to say that I recommend this adventure, O Unknown Human, or more likely Known, as really only personal friends appear to read my blogs, which is just A-OK with me (for now). In doing so YOU add to the story–‘hu[m]story’ perchance as vs ‘herstory’ , ‘history’ or even the unacceptable despite early feminist linguistic advice, ‘perstory.’ Just go to National Geographic’s website, picking up on the Genographic Project.

Happy Trails!

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