The DNA analysis of a deceased African-American male from South Carolina was found to contain single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that contained vestigial remnants of mutations of the Y chromosome that were estimated by an international group of geneticists to have a time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) corresponding to 338,000 years ago.
Comparison of the DNA sample with ancient hunter-gatherer populations from sub-Saharan Africa (the most ancient known modern human ancestors) produced no corresponding ancestral link.
The discovery lead the scientists to conclude that mankind is at least twice as old as previously thought. The samples considered also indicate that some interbreeding of very ancient modern man and other African pre-human ancestors may have occurred.
This single individual is the only person that has been found to contain DNA that dates to such an ancient origin of man. The sample was taken from a large population of African-Americans - none of which has shown any similar SNPs.
The discovery could rewrite human history and expand the time frame that modern man existed on Earth to at least twice the dates of the earliest known fossil evidence. The oldest modern human DNA found to date is 140,000 years old.