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What this means is that even people in the Upper Palaeolithic, who were living in tiny groups, understood the importance of avoiding inbreeding, he said.
The data that we have suggest that it was being purposely avoided.
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Prehistoric humans are likely to have formed mating networks to avoid inbreeding Early humans seem to have recognised the dangers of inbreeding at least 34,000 years ago, and developed surprisingly sophisticated social and mating networks to avoid it, new research has found.
This means that they must have developed a system for this purpose.
If small hunter-gatherer bands were mixing at random, we would see much greater evidence of inbreeding than we have here.
However, more ancient genomic information from both early humans and Neanderthals is needed to test this idea.
This suggests that our distant ancestors are likely to have been aware of the dangers of inbreeding, and purposely avoided it at a surprisingly early stage in prehistory.
The symbolism, complexity and time invested in the objects and jewellery found buried with the remains also suggests that it is possible that they developed rules, ceremonies and rituals to accompany the exchange of mates between groups, which perhaps foreshadowed modern marriage ceremonies, and may have been similar to those still practised by hunter-gatherer communities in parts of the world today.
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"Being a member of It's Just Lunch is like having trusted friends set you up, but even better, because they're professionals.They found that the four individuals studied were genetically no closer than second cousins, while an adult femur filled with red ochre found in the children’s’ grave would have belonged to an individual no closer than great-great grandfather of the boys.