Half of Western European Men are Descended from one Bronze Age Person

Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown, according to an article in The Telegraph. The ‘king,’ who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.

Although it is not known who he was, or where he lived, scientists say he must have existed because of genetic variation in today’s European populations.

The article doesn’t tell how the researchers found that he was a king or chieftain, other than the fact that he apparently had a lot of descendants. If true, that might mean he was a man of some stature within his community.

In any case, you can read about the claim in an article by Sarah Knapton, Science Editor, in The Telegraph at http://goo.gl/u0rvwb.

This should make for an interesting episode on Who Do You Think You Are?

My thanks to newsletter reader John Rees for telling me about this article.

18 Comments

I cannot read this article unless I disable my ad blocker.

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Was his name Clevon?

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Adam.

(And by next week, we’ll see family trees on Ancestry tracing back to him.)

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Which subclade does he belong to?

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I am a bit bemused. The work drew on the DNA of just 1,200 people and, from that, made sweeping assumptions. Now if the work drew on 1.2M, then I may be a bit more convinced.

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    Mr. Gray, I’m thinking it all has to do with statistics. It’s like Kahil Gibran’s “In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans” or A Study in Scarlet’s “From a drop of water,” said the writer, “a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. So all life is a great chain, the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a single link of it.”
    Since I flunked Statistics, I just take that sort of thing on faith.

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I KNEW we were all inbred.

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Interesting article.

How about a Bronze Age equivalent of a rock star or artist – maybe a metalsmith who also made lovely jewelry – with a fabulous muscular body (which a blacksmith or metalsmith might have) who was known to be a great lover…, and while most of the men in the clan were out hunting or making war, he stayed home with all the females and made babies…? Blacksmiths were at one time well-respected high-status males, and it takes a sensitive and deft touch to craft metal. Think in terms of the god Hephaestus/Vulcan, husband of Aphrodite/Venus.

Anyway, a man does not have to be a king or chieftain to have women swooning to bed a high-status male – or, a chieftain might be a serial rapist, for all anyone knows. Natural selection would favor the non-violent males who stay home and help rear the child(ren), not those who went off to war where they could be killed, perhaps without even siring a child since their days would be occupied with war games and exercises and there would be no time for sex.

There is also the scenario of the traveling salesman or peddler or druidic type who entertained at various homes or villages. He might bed a woman who already has a mate, then leaves and never knows he has sired any children, but other men are the father figures for the offspring.

There are multiple scenarios that might apply, rather than king or chieftain, especially if the clan was matrilineal rather than patrilineal.

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28 Apr. 2016
This article on Ars Technica seems to be derived from the same source, but looks at the evidence without wandering off into the hinterlands of bronze age “kings”, but rather the likely paths of human migration.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/04/y-chromosomes-history-shows-links-to-migration-tech-developments/

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I had my ancestry test results analyzed by a third party: “Another study () has concluded that almost individuals carrying the A111T variant can trace ancestry back to a single person who most likely lived at least 10,000 years ago.” Wish they had provided a Gedcom file to back that up, ha.

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So who are the other half descended from then?

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Can we get back child support ? Thanks for the comments, thoughtful and a good laughs for the day!
Susan

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