Modern Greeks descended from ancient Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations


An analysis of ancient DNA has revealed that Ancient Minoans and Mycenaens were genetically similar with both peoples descending from early Neolithic farmers.

An international team of researchers from the University of Washington, the Harvard Medical School and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, together with archaeologists and other collaborators in Greece and Turkey, report the first genome-wide DNA sequence data on the Bronze Age inhabitants of mainland Greece, Crete, and southwestern Anatolia.

The researchers analyzed tooth DNA from the remains of 19 ancient individuals who could be definitively identified by archaeological evidence as Minoans of Crete, Mycenaeans of mainland Greece, and people who lived in southwestern Anatolia.

They compared the Minoan and Mycenaean genomes to each other and to more than 330 other ancient genomes and over 2,600 genomes of present-day humans from around the world.

Study results show that Minoans and Mycenaeans were genetically highly similar – but not identical – and that modern Greeks descend from these populations. The Minoans and Mycenaeans descended mainly from early Neolithic farmers, likely migrating thousands of years prior to the Bronze Age from Anatolia, in what is today modern Turkey.

[The original study can be found here]

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