Quantcast
Connect with us

Like roads, many genetic lineages led to ancient Rome

Published

on

At the height of its empire, the inhabitants of ancient Rome genetically resembled the populations of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, according to a DNA study published Thursday.

The paper is based on genome data of 127 individuals from 29 archaeological sites in and around the city state, spanning nearly 12,000 years of Roman prehistory and history.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rome and central Italy’s antiquity is well-documented in the rich archaeological and historical record, but relatively little genetic work had been carried out until now.

Writing in the journal Science, researchers from Stanford and Italian universities said people from the city’s earliest eras and from after the Western empire’s decline in the 4th Century CE genetically resembled other Western Europeans.

But during the imperial period, Romans had more in common with populations from Greece, Syria and Lebanon.

The earliest sequenced genomes, from three individuals living 9,000 to 12,000 years ago, resembled other European hunter-gatherers at the time.

Starting from 9,000 years ago, the genetic makeup of Romans again changed in line with the rest of Europe following an influx of farmers from Anatolia or modern Turkey.

ADVERTISEMENT

Things started to change however from 900 BCE to 200 BCE, as Rome grew in size and importance, and the diversity shot up from 27 BCE to 300 CE, when the city was the capital to an empire of 50 million to 90 million people, stretching from North Africa to Britain to the Middle East.

Of the 48 individuals sampled from this period, only two showed strong genetic ties to Europe.

The genetic “diversity was just overwhelming,” said Ron Pinhasi of the University of Vienna, who extracted DNA from the skeletons’ ear bones.

ADVERTISEMENT

After the empire split into two parts with the eastern capital in Constantinople (now Istanbul), Rome’s diversity decreased once more.

Jonathan Pritchard, a population geneticist at Stanford University who sequenced and analyzed the DNA, said mass migration is sometimes thought to be a new phenomenon.

ADVERTISEMENT

“But it’s clear from ancient DNA that populations have been mixing at really high rates for a long time,” he added.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

‘I’m very upset’: Furious Texas rancher says Trump is ‘secretly’ trying to steal land to build ‘the wall’

Published

on

Ranchers in Laredo, Texas, are furious as they're learning President Donald Trump is stealing their land away to build the "wall," he says, has already been built.

During a campaign stop in Louisiana Thursday, Trump said that his wall is "going up faster than anyone thought possible." But when probed about it, Trump's own top border official confirmed none of the wall has been built, in fact, all that has been built replaced existing structures.

Only four miles of the area where the Trump "wall" is going is owned by the federal government already. So, the White House is now calling land-owners on the Texas border to beg them to cooperate with their landgrab.

Continue Reading

CNN

Mike Pence distances himself from his own top adviser after she refuses to lie for Trump

Published

on

Vice President Mike Pence's top adviser, Jennifer Williams, seems to be enduring retaliation from her employers after cooperating with subpoenas from the House impeachment inquiry this week. Williams spoke to the committee behind closed doors, and her testimony has was released Saturday.

President Donald Trump attacked her as a "Never Trumper" on Twitter Sunday, despite her work for the Trump adminsitration.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Internet blown away by Trump’s multi-tweet attack frenzy lashing out at Dems and GOP alike: ‘You are absolutely terrified’

Published

on

After spending the past two days mostly tweeting out videos that are complimentary to him, Donald Trump unleashed a flood of Twitter bile at Democrats, Republicans, a New York Times columnist and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace late Sunday afternoon.

After attacking Wallace, the president also went after an aide to Vice President Mike Pence -- calling her a "Never Trumper" -- then again demanded to know who the whistleblower, whose report initiated the current impeachment hearings, is.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image