Monday, October 28, 2013

A European population in Minoan Bronze Age Crete

An article published in Nature this past spring discusses the genetic origins of the ancient Minoans.  DNA taken from some of the archaeological sites there, and the haplotypes of the mitochondrial DNA was examined. Previously, archaeologists thought that the Minoans might have been related to a range of other populations including those from North Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans based on their material culture.  The results of this study showed that the Minoans were related most closely to North and Western Europeans.  They share a much of their genetic make up with other ancient finds from Iberia, Sardinia, France and Scandanavia.  Additionally, the article stated that the modern inhabitants of Crete are direct descendants, at least matrilineally, from the Minoans.  

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