New Strand of European Ancestry Discovered

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tags: archaeology, DNA, Late Upper Paleolithic



An international team of scientists has unearthed a previously unknown ‘fourth strand’ of ancient European ancestry. 

The discovery was made following the first sequencing of human remains from the Late Upper Paleolithic period. Scientists read the DNA from two burials in West Georgia, one around 10,000 years old, the other over 13,000.

With both sets of remains being found in caves, they were sufficiently well preserved to allow their DNA to be studied.

The findings have the potential to answer questions about the origins of the Yamnaya culture, herders from the Steppe who swept into Western Europe around 5,000 years ago. Some archaeologists argue that the arrival of the Yamnaya heralded the start of the Bronze Age in Europe through the skills in metallurgy and animal herding they brought with them.




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