DNA sheds light on Minoans

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Posted by Greeka.com on 03 Apr 2008

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The Minoan civilization of Ancient Greece was founded by people from Anatolia, which comprises the present-day Iran, Iraq and Syria, who had arrived in Greece crossing the seas. At least, this is the finding of a team of international scientists in their study entitled “The origins of the Neolithic people of Greece” which challenges the controversial views of the American scholar Martin Bernal (Cornell University) whose theory had ascribed an Afro-centric or even Semitic origins to Greek civilization, as opposed to the Indo-European.

The team of scientists used sophisticated DNA testing techniques to establish conclusively that the Greek civilization indeed had an Indo-European origin, as had been traditionally believed. The scientists genetically tested blood samples collected from men living in Crete, as well as from men living in the vicinity of known Neolithic settlements on mainland Greece, especially Nea Nicomedia (Veria, Macedonia); Sesklo and Dimini (Thessaly) and Phracti and Lerni (Kranidi, Argolida). The results were then compared with the results of research conducted in Europe, Anatolia and Africa. The absence of genetic markers, a known DNA sequence, in people living in the neighboring areas of the Bosporus showed that the forefathers of the Minoans (and hence of the Greeks) came from Anatolia.

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