Thursday, April 3, 2008

DNA in Archaeology

From Katherimini, English Edition April 3, 2008 DNA sheds light on Minoans Crete’s fabled Minoan civilization was built by people from Anatolia, according to a new study by Greek and foreign scientists that disputes an earlier theory that said the Minoans’ forefathers had come from Africa. The new study – a collaboration by experts in Greece, the USA, Canada, Russia and Turkey – drew its conclusions from the DNA analysis of 193 men from Crete and another 171 from former neolithic colonies in central and northern Greece. The results show that the country’s neolithic population came to Greece by sea from Anatolia – modern-day Iran, Iraq and Syria – and not from Africa as maintained by US scholar Martin Bernal. The DNA analysis indicates that the arrival of neolithic man in Greece from Anatolia coincided with the social and cultural upsurge that led to the birth of the Minoan civilization, Constantinos Triantafyllidis of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University told Kathimerini. “Until now we only had the archaeological evidence – now we have genetic data too and we can date the DNA,” he said. ******************************************************************************** I thought that "Anatolia" was primarily what we call Turkey today (see, for instance, Wikipedia). I do not believe I've ever read prior to tonight that Iran and Iraq were part of ancient Anatolia! If the author meant to say that parts of modern-day Iran, Iraq and Syria (rather small parts) were included within ancient Anatolia, then that would make sense, based on the maps at Wikipedia. But if - as the article presently reads - the author meant all of Syria, Iran and Iraq and not Turkey, then take it with a large grain of salt.

1 comment:

torwen said...

Yes, it is said that an obvious mistake is multiplied through the internet that easily. People copy and paste to much without thinking. The original study was published in the Annals of Human Genetics (2008) 72,205–214 this March and an illustration (fig.1) clearly shows where their samples came from, namely Turkey.
So don't believe everything that is on the internet always go back to the original source.

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