Genetic data rewrite the prehistory of Europe

skull of ancient woman

A look at DNA taken from the remains of ancient hunter-gatherers found in Sweden suggests that modern Europeans' origins may be more complex than once thought.

Fredrik Hallgren

The genomes of a roughly 7,000-year-old farmer from Germany, eight approximately 8,000-year-old hunter-gatherers from Luxembourg and Sweden and 2,345 living humans have changed the story of modern Europeans’ origins. The analyses show that modern Europeans derive from three, not two, ancestral populations: west European hunter-gatherers, ancient north Eurasians and early European farmers. The results were published September 18 in Nature.

SN first reported the results in the May 17, 2014 feature “Written in bone.

Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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