Since the San, on the basis of both genetics and language, seem to be among the earliest human populations, it's of considerable interest that they once occupied a much larger area of Africa than they do today. In the seventeenth century they inhabited all of southern Africa. Archaeologists believe that much earlier, in Paleolithic times, the San occupied the eastern half of Africa, with their domain stretching up through Ethiopia to the northern tip of the Red Sea. In support of the archaeologists' view, geneticists have found that the DNA of Ethiopians living today retains evidence of the San's ancient presence in their country. Men of the Oromo and Amhara peoples have a small proportion of Y chromosomes that belong to the first branch of the Y chromosome family tree. This branch is rare elsewhere in Africa except among the San, 44% of whom carry it. The Oromo and Amhara must share an ancestral paternity with the San, and the first branch must have been "part of the proto-African Y-chromosome gene pool,"
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