Ever since Homer, Greeks has idolized their ancestors in poems and tragedies along with hinting that they share a connection with the Greek Gods. As reported in the Science magazine, Greeks seem to indeed share common genetic origins with their mythical ancestors. A research on the skeletons from Bronze Age has shed light on the origins of the Mycenaean and Minoan people.
The Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations owe their emergence to the Aegean farming communities. These were the first literate civilization to reside in Europe and have left behind a wide array of archaeological material like wall paintings, writings, burials, gold jewellery and even palaces. The civilization is said to have given rise to the Greeks. The findings of the study were published in Nature journal on 2nd August and it poses a question on the prehistoric migrations in the Bronze Age.
The DNA samples consist of 4 Mycenaeans (1700 B.C.E. to 1200 B.C.E.), 10 Minoans (2900 B.C.E. to 1700 B.C.E.), 5 farmers of Bronze Age (5400 B.C.E. to 1340 B.C.E.) along with 30 modern Greeks.
A team of scientists compared the DNA collected from the teeth samples for the ancient Minoans with Mycenaean and the modern Greeks. To their astonishment, they found that the Mycenaean and Minoan people were genetic siblings to the ancient farmers from Turkey as three-quarters of the DNA from Minoan and Mycenean samples correlate with the farmers.
They even discovered that both of the cultures even inherit their DNA from the people residing near modern day Iran which suggests migration of people from theeast after the settling down of farmers before the split of Mycenaeans and Minoans.
They even discovered that there is a strong genetic tie between the modern Greeks and the Mycenaeans. The genetic similarity between the modern Greeks and the ancient Mycenaeans is astonishing since Aegean remains to be the abode of varied civilizations for years. This hints at the fact that the Bronze Age has the entire template ready for the genetic material of the Greek population.
Lazaridis suggests that on further research it can be understood how the eastern and the northern ancestry got incorporated into the DNA of the Bronze Age Greeks. Another archaeologist, Kristian Kristiansen from theUniversity of Gothenburg suggests that the results through this study have opened up an entire chapter in the study of the genetic history of the western Eurasia along with the Bronze Age Mediterranean.