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Where the early settlers came from


The Mediterranean was an important hiking and trading route even in prehistoric times. Genetic analyzes now show where the settlers from who once settled on the western islands come from: Asian steppes, today's Iran and North Africa.

To find out where the early inhabitants of the Balearic Islands, Sicily and Sardinia came from in prehistoric and ancient times, an international team with Viennese participation analyzed the genetic makeup of 66 people from the Mediterranean. They had lived on one of the islands up to 7,000 years ago. According to the researchers led by Ron Pinhasi and Daniel Fernandes from the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna, seven of the samples examined come from the "Buffa II Cave" in Sicily. These were recovered in 1876 and 1877 on the initiative of the founder of the Vienna Society for Anthropology, Ferdinand Andrian-Werburg (1835-1914), and have been in the collection of the anthropological department of the Natural History Museum Vienna ever since. [more]



Fernandes, Daniel M. et al.: "The spread of steppe and Iranian-related ancestry in the islands of the western Mediterranean". Nature Ecology & Evolution 2020. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-020-1102-0 

(c) David Caramelli