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Human prehistory 101: Epilogue

​Last in a series of videos on human prehistory, this video describes how human populations from different geographical regions have reunited in the modern era. Created by 23andMe.

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Video transcript

500 years ago, trans-oceanic travel became a reality. Since the end of the last Ice Age, farming societies have been absorbing their neighbors, making populations more similar within continents. That when people began to cross oceans, in large numbers, the genetic and cultural differences between people from different continents also began to fade, though not disappear. Many families relocated Willingly, or unwillingly to very distant lands. Sometimes, they found unoccupied lands, and sometimes they found lands occupied, and wished they weren't. And sometimes they found land and labor, and devised ways of exploiting both. All over the world, people separated by thousands of kilometers for thousands of years began meeting once again and producing children. Today, whole regions, like the Americas, are populated by people who can trace their ancestry back to multiple continents. But some small groups are more geographically or culturally isolated, and remain genetically distinguishable. As long distance transportation gets easier and easier, and individual societies become more diverse, languages are being lost, and genetic distinctions across the globe are fading. But these genetic distinctions, are a relatively recent phenomenon in our history. We haven't been separated for very long.