Our ancestors or early humans, who lived around 34000, years ago, purposely avoided inbreeding because they knew that having sex with their relatives was not a great idea. So to skip inbreeding, they developed social and mating networks.
A new research which analyzed the ancient human remains found in Russia has revealed that even among an extremely small society, incest did not take place. The study led by research teams of Cambridge University and the University of Copenhagen informed that the prehistoric humans developed surprisingly sophisticated social and mating networks and deliberately wanted partners outside their families. The study has indicated that due to this important avoidance of breeding, modern humans proved to be more successful anatomically when compared to the Neanderthals who did not avoid breeding.
Martin Sikora, Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, said that small family bands might have interconnected with larger networks, thus driving the exchange of people between groups in order to maintain diversity. Researchers studied and examined genetic remains of four anatomically-modern humans from Sunghir of upper Paleolithic ( a period when modern humans from Africa first colonized Eurasia) in Russia. Also, researchers were surprised to know that the individuals were not closely related in terms of genes. At most, they were second cousins. Also, this fact was observed even in the case of two children who were buried head-to-head in the same grave.
Along with that many objects were found buried with the body remains which indicated that they might have created rules, ceremonies, and rituals to support the exchange of mates between groups. Professor Eske Willerslev, fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge told that from the research he concluded that even people in the Upper Palaeolithic, who were living in small groups, also understood the importance of avoiding inbreeding.
So, it can be concluded that our ancestors or early humans purposely avoided inbreeding and this early systematic approach to prevent inbreeding among relatives might have helped anatomically-modern humans to develop in a more organized manner with enhanced traits when compared with other hominines.