An Associated Press story wonders if the delicate bones of one of the oldest humans, 3.2-million year old Lucy from Ethiopia, can survive being transported on an United States tour. The fossils of Lucy have only been displayed twice in her native country. The tour is the object of concern for the Ethiopian community here in the U.S.
The article reports conclusions reached by researchers from Spain's national center for research into human evolution. They suggest that Asian populations played a larger role than Africans in colonizing Europe millions of years ago.
AFP quotes the scientists' statement:
"In the light of these results, we propose that Asia has played an important role in the colonization of Europe, and that future studies on this issue are obliged to pay serious attention to the 'unknown' continent."
The use of "colonization" in this quote may be telling.
In the European (and American) mind of "majority" cultures, Africa and Asia may remain mysterious and unknown continents never properly acknowledged. Regardless of scientific conclusions, the realpolitik of far-reaching meta-ideaologies are at play. Perhaps, in this case, the quoted conclusion is in ironic resonance with (or reaction to) presence of Moors and Hannibal in European history.
Why suggest that Europeans arose from a distinct and disparate population other than Africans? Precious identity and Eurocentricity are at stake as well as an understanding of Western history and all its implications. And, the psychology and rationales for corporate and national behaviors follow.
Certainly, there will be a lot more discovering and explaining to do.