Ancestral journeys

Ancestral journeys

Jean Manco

Language: English

Pages: 312

ISBN: 0500292078

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“An ambitious and lucid full narrative account of the peopling of Europe . . . this will undoubtedly provide a base line for future debates on the origins of the Europeans.” ?J. P. Mallory, author of In Search of the Indo-Europeans and The Origins of the Irish

Who are the Europeans? Where did they come from? New research in the fields of archaeology and linguistics, a revolution in the study of genetics, and cutting-edge analysis of ancient DNA are dramatically changing our picture of prehistory, leading us to question what we thought we knew about these ancient peoples.

This paradigm-shifting book paints a spirited portrait of a restless people that challenges our established ways of looking at Europe’s past. The story is more complex than at first believed, with new evidence suggesting that the European gene pool was stirred vigorously multiple times. Genetic clues are also enhancing our understanding of European mobility in epochs with written records, including the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons, the spread of the Slavs, and the adventures of the Vikings.

Now brought completely up to date with all the latest findings from the fast-moving fields of genetics, DNA, and dating, Jean Manco’s highly readable account weaves multiple strands of evidence into a startling new history of the continent, of interest to anyone who wants to truly understand Europeans’ place in the ancient world. 124 illustrations, including 59 maps












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the lot of an author. We can only make deductions from the evidence we do have, laying out the principles that we are following and the problems of interpretation. The next chapter covers these. The story of the peopling of Europe begins in Chapter 3. CHAPTER TWO Migration: Principles and Problems The idea of migration in prehistory, so long out of favour, is now back on the agenda.1 From the 1920s to the 1950s, V. Gordon Childe was a towering figure among anglophone archaeologists. In book

while PIE developed far from there, they could make no sense of this.83 Yet if Paleo-Basque came from somewhere near the PIE homeland, it may make a great deal of sense. One possible clue comes from ancient DNA. A site of 2500 BC in Navarre has yielded evidence that some of its inhabitants could drink milk as adults, thanks to the 13910T mutation.84 Pastoralists of some sort had arrived. It seems most likely that the ancestor of Euskara was spoken by a Copper Age group drawn to the Pyrenees by

South Asians estimates that there was a major genetic mixture 1,200–4,000 years ago, overlapping the time when Indo-European languages arrived in the Indian subcontinent.1 Deductions from ancient DNA are far more conclusive. To date these overwhelmingly come from more northerly climes, where DNA preservation is better. Here we find a trail from Siberian mammoth hunters to the Corded Ware and Bell Beaker cultures via Yamnaya. It begins with a boy who lived at Mal’ta in Siberia about 24,000 years

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