Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


12 October 2017

DNA clue to origins of early Greek civilization

BBC News, 3/8/2017

Researchers analysed genetic data from skeletons dating to the Bronze Age, a period marked by the emergence of writing, complex urban planning and magnificent art and architecture. These ancient Aegean people were mostly descended from farmers who had settled the region thousands of years earlier. But they showed signs of genetic – and possibly cultural – contact with people to the north and to the east.

Dr Iosif Lazaridis, from Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts, and colleagues focussed on burials from the Minoan civilization, which flourished on the island of Crete from 2,600 to 1,100 BC, and the Mycenaean culture, which existed across Greece from 1,600-1,100 BC. “They’re important because they are the first known civilizations in Europe that had writing and a level of complexity that was not present in earlier cultures… It’s always been a puzzle: where did these people come from and how did they create this amazing culture,” Dr Lazaridis told BBC News.



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