Mediterranean peoples share a common recent ancestry—except mainland Greeks

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Genetic analysis proves that following thousands of years of conquests and migrations, peoples living around the Mediterranean today share common ancestors, with one surprising outlier: Greece.

The peoples living today around the Mediterranean Sea are all related, after thousands of years of intermittently attacking and loving each other, a new genetic study has unsurprisingly shown. However, the data from the international team of scientists found a startling exception: mainland Greeks seem to be genetically closer to Albanians than to their brethren in the Greek islands.

“Present-day population diversity is composed by multiple genetic layers, which make the deciphering of different ancestral and historical contributes particularly challenging,” write the scientists behind a new study, that looked at 23 populations.

The scientists were not expecting to find that the people in the Greek islands appear genetically closer to southern Italians than to the people in continental Greece. Meanwhile, the mainland Greeks, including the Peloponnese in southern Greece, had become slightly differentiated. They clustered with populations from the southern Balkans, including Kosovo and Albania. All the tested populations from Southern Italy, Sicily, mainland Greece, and the Greek islands including Cyprus share a genetic component inherited from early Neolithic farmers, say the researchers. They also have a smattering of traits originating in the Levant and Near East.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Mainland, Island Greeks Genetically Diverged in Middle Ages

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