Ancient DNA offers clues to the Canaanites’ fate | Science News

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Ancient DNA offers clues to the Canaanites’ fate

Modern Lebanese people descended from this ancient Levant group

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12:31pm, July 27, 2017
Canaanite skeleton

DNA DOES THE TALKING  An analysis of the complete genetic instruction books, or genomes, recovered from five Canaanite skeletons (one shown) reveals how these ancient people fit into humankind’s family tree.

DNA is setting the record straight on ancient Canaanites.

For the first time, scientists have deciphered the complete genetic instruction manuals of Canaanites. By comparing five Canaanite genomes with those of other ancient and modern populations, the researchers identified the Canaanites’ ancestors and discovered their descendants, modern Lebanese people.

The results, reported online July 27 in the American Journal of Human Genetics, give new insight into the origins and fate of a people whose story has largely been told through the secondhand accounts of its contemporaries.

The Canaanites emerged in the Levant, a region east of the Mediterranean Sea, 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. This cultural group, which established extensive trade networks and colonies across the Mediterranean region, left behind few written records, perhaps because they wrote on papyrus rather than clay. So most

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