Adventurer Bruce Fenton feels at home in Bathurst

CHALLENGING: Bruce Fenton, who lived for five years in Ecuador and explored a ruined structure in the jungle there, is now living in Bathurst. He has a new book out that challenges a migration theory. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK
CHALLENGING: Bruce Fenton, who lived for five years in Ecuador and explored a ruined structure in the jungle there, is now living in Bathurst. He has a new book out that challenges a migration theory. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

THE Georgian Caucasus region; the Amazonian jungle; Bathurst.

Bruce Fenton had enjoyed his fair share of adventures before he arrived in town about nine months ago.

The British author - who has a new book out that challenges the theory of human migration beginning in Africa - had spent five years in Ecuador before he and his wife Daniella decided to move to Australia to be closer to her parents in Sydney.

“We’d heard that Bathurst is a particularly nice town to live in,” he said.

Mr Fenton’s circuitous route to Bathurst is appropriate given his latest book, The Forgotten Exodus: The Into Africa Theory Of Human Evolution, looks at human movement around the globe.

Having examined the science on the “out of Africa” theory of human expansion (which says the migration into Eurasia began on the African continent), Mr Fenton is arguing instead that it began in Australasia 60,000 years ago.

After looking closely at the papers on the subject, he is convinced the prevailing interpretation is incorrect.

“I’m not saying the evidence itself is flawed, but the interpretation is wrong,” he said.

Mr Fenton says the two haplogroups (a genetic population group of people who share a common ancestor) that are considered to be the base of all of Eurasia have always been thought to have come out of Africa.

But having the two groups develop in the same place is incredibly unlikely, he said, and it “fits far better with a group moving in” to Africa from elsewhere.

Mr Fenton said he, his wife and their four-year-old son Zack had enjoyed Bathurst since they moved to the city.

“It reminds me of my old home town of Stroud in England – a country town,” he said.

He helped explore a ruined megalithic structure uncovered in the jungle during his time in Ecuador and he hasn’t ruled out exploration in his new home. 

“One reason Bathurst drew my personal interest is that I had heard tales of something called the 'Bathurst Stonehenge', but I am yet to find any such ancient megalithic site around the town,” he said.

Visit brucefenton.info or ancientnews.net. The Forgotten Exodus: The Into Africa Theory Of Human Evolution is available on Amazon.com.au or at Angus and Robertson.