Genetics

A traditional Uros boat

Sons of the Sun? Looking for the Origins of the Uros People

The Uros people live on 42 artificial floating islands on Lake Titicaca. They call themselves "Lupihaques" (Sons of the Sun) and descendants of the ancient Uros, a pre-Incan people. However, there...
First Genetic Proof of a Viking Age Warrior Woman is Identified from an Iconic Swedish Grave

First Genetic Proof of a Viking Age Warrior Woman is Identified from an Iconic Swedish Grave

“Then the high-born lady saw them play the wounding game , she resolved on a hard course and flung off her cloak; she took a naked sword and fought for her kinsmen's lives , she was handy at fighting...
Reconstruction of what a Neanderthal may have looked like in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany

The Widespread Appearance of Neanderthal DNA: Africans Have It Too

It has long been argued that Neanderthal derived DNA is found in all non-Africans. As a result, it has been assumed that Africans fail to carry Neanderthal ancestry… even though Neanderthal skeletons...
Analyzing Mummy Genes: Were Ancient Egyptians closely Related to Middle Easterners?

Analyzing Mummy Genes: Were Ancient Egyptians closely Related to Middle Easterners?

Egypt has been thought of by many as a quintessentially African civilization. There is, however, evidence that the ancient Egyptians may have been less African than modern Egyptians, at least...
Images from the manuscript ‘Seventy-Two Specimens of Castes in India.

The Controversial Indian Caste System Has Been Dividing India for 2000 Years

A study of genetic populations in India suggests the Indian caste system, a traditional method of social organization into a hierarchy of hereditary groups, has been prevalent in the South Asian...
DNA Analysis Suggests Cats Chose to Be Domesticated

DNA Analysis Suggests Cats Chose to Be Domesticated

According to an extensive DNA analysis of cat genes the domestic cat is descended from wild cats that were tamed twice; once in the Near East and then in Egypt. The study suggests that cats lived for...
A Wa'a Kaulua (double canoe) of Hawaiian Nobility of the 18th Century. Polynesia was inhabited by skilled seafarers.

Where Did the Polynesians Really Come From?

Oceania was the last region to be settled by humans and the last part of Oceania to be settled by humans was Polynesia. Polynesians are famous for their voyages to remote islands in distant parts of...
Egyptian sarcophagus containing mummified remains

The First Genome Data from Ancient Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Egyptians Were Most Closely Related to Ancient Populations from the Near East

An international team of scientists, led by researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, successfully recovered and analyzed...
Chaco Canyon Pueblo Bonito Ruin.

Was a Key Ancient Puebloan Society Ruled by Women?

Discovering who was a leader, or even if leaders existed, from the ruins of archaeological sites is difficult, but now a team of archaeologists and biological anthropologists, using a powerful...
Neanderthal

Ancient Human History More Complex Than Previously Thought, Researchers Say

Relationships between the ancestors of modern humans and other archaic populations such as Neanderthals and Denisovans were likely more complex than previously thought, involving interbreeding within...
DNA, land bridge, Beringia, Ice Age, Americas, genetics, South America, humans, Paleoamerican, Naia, Luzia, skeletons, archaeology

Did Paleoamericans Reach South America First?

In “ Textbook Story of How Humans Populated America is Biologically Unviable, Study Finds ” , recently published in Ancient Origins, it was noted that DNA studies indicate that people could not have...
Schizophrenia Emerged After Humans Diverged from Neanderthals

Schizophrenia Emerged After Humans Diverged from Neanderthals

Schizophrenia poses an evolutionary enigma. The disorder has existed throughout recorded human history and persists despite its severe effects on thought and behavior, and its reduced rates of...
Biggest Known Genetic Difference Between Humans and Neanderthals May Be Related to Autism

Biggest Known Genetic Difference Between Humans and Neanderthals May Be Related to Autism

A recent study says that a genetic change suddenly arose in the primate family tree about about 280,000 years ago. The researchers claim it is responsible for the largest genetic difference between...
The Genetic History of Ice Age Europe

The Genetic History of Ice Age Europe

Analyses of ancient DNA from prehistoric humans paint a picture of dramatic population change in Europe from 45,000 to 7,000 years ago, according to a new study led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute...
Imaginative depiction of the Stone Age, by Viktor Vasnetsov.

Just a Few Men Controlled Reproduction in Prehistory and Dominate World Genetics Today

A new genetic study of male ancestry shows there were periods in human prehistory when just a few elite men controlled reproduction. For example, one man about 190,000 years ago was the ancestor of 1...
An artist’s depiction of a family of Neanderthals.

Humans and Neanderthals Branched off 600,000 years ago Due to an Incompatible Y Chromosome

Neanderthals and humans branched off about 600,000 years ago, possibly because of genetic incompatibility in the context of the Y chromosome, a team of researchers has announced. There was some...

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

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View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)