So how long would it take a human, today, to walk the path that humanity traveled? Paul Salopek, a prize-winning journalist, (including a Pulitzer for his article about the Human Genome Diversity Project) and National Geographic fellow is going to find out, if it’s even possible.
According to Paul’s calculations, it will take him about 7 years to walk from the Garden of Eden, Herto Bouri, a village in Ethiopia’s Middle Awash valley, which has the longest and most continuous record of human evolution of any place on Earth, to the southern-most tip of South America. Paul left yesterday, January 10, 2013, so only another roughly 6 years and 364 days until his arrival. But then again, I’m thinking it’s not so much about the destination as the journey.
The map, below, released by National Geographic, documents the path Paul will take.
This same path, taken in essence by ancient humans, took 30,000 to 40,000 years, depending on the timeframe used for humans leaving Africa and arriving at the tip of South America. Of course, they didn’t have a nifty map, most of them didn’t make it, as the path then was entirely by trial and error. What Paul will accomplish in 7 years, it took ancient people between 1200 and 1600 generations to complete.
You can read more about Paul’s journey and see some great National Geographic photos at this link: http://news.yahoo.com/man-begins-7-walk-path-ancient-humans-170907164.html
Better yet, you can follow his progress at this link: http://www.outofedenwalk.com/
Click on the “follow” tab to sign up for e-mail notifications when Paul posts something interesting.
Under “The Storytelling” tab, be sure to watch the short video about Paul’s inspiration for making this epic journey.