It is the largest study of the ancient Europe DNA, where two research teams from the University of Copenhagen and Harvard University have learned that the last of three main groups of immigrants helped initiating modern Europe.
Approximately 4,500 years ago, during the Bronze Age, that the third group moved into Europe land from southern Russia and Georgia in a mass migration. With them they brought a gene which can tolerate lactose, as well as the tradition of dairy farming, and a language that can be traces forward into today’s modern languages in Europe, where many of them share the same traits.
The first migration to Europe happened a lot earlier almost 4,500 years ago where people were mainly hunters and gatherers, and the second move from Near East was made 8,000 years ago where people were farmers.
“Our study is the first real large-scale population genomic study ever undertaken on ancient individuals. We analyzed genome sequence data from 101 past individuals. This is more than a doubling of the number of genomic sequenced individuals of prehistoric man generated to date. The study is without any comparison to anything previously made,” said Eske Willerslev, a geneticist and professor of evolutionary genetics at the University of Copenhagen.
The skeletons were form several place, from Spain to Russia, and indicates that these Caucasians or Eurasians, called Yamnaya, were part of a major migration talking place some 3,000 years B.C. The Yamnayas were known to be nomadic sheepherders, originating from Western Russia.
“It’s pretty clear that these eastern cultures in the Bronze Age are linked to the Yamnaya,” said Pontus Skoglund, population geneticist at Harvard University Medical School.
Yamnaya influenced native Europeans and their culture with bothe their customs, technology and geneomes, which is also traceable into modern areas and way of life.
Willerslev concludes by saying, “The results show that the genetic composition and distribution of peoples in Europe and Asia today is a surprisingly late phenomenon, only a few thousand years old.”