Researchers and historians have been trying to solve the mysteries of the origins of European people for centuries.
Archaeologists have been looking for clues in ancient settlements hoping that it will shed some light on the ancient people’s lives, habits and behavior.
Thanks to new technology, scientists are able tell plenty about a person by analyzing the DNA.
A team of scientists from two prestigious schools, the Harvard University and the University of Copenhagen, has recently published a study in the journal Nature detailing the findings of the DNA analysis of more than 170 skeletons discovered in most of the European countries, from Russia to Spain.
The new studies are actually the most comprehensive of their kind, revealing new facts about the origins of European people.
According to their studies, all the European individuals that live today descend from members of three ancient groups.
Researchers found that each of this group of European ancestors came to Europe at a different time.
In their studies, the researchers write about how the first group of people that came to Europe consisted of hunter gatherers who settled down more than 45,000 years ago.
The second wave of ancient Europeans was made of farmers from the Near East. This group arrived about 8,000 years ago.
The third and last wave consisted of a group of ancient people that were mostly nomadic sheepherders arriving from west Russia.
This last group was known as the Yamnaya and came to Europe approximately 4,500 years ago.
According to the latest studies on the origins of European people, the ancient Yamnaya people spoke a language that evolved into what we know as modern European languages.
DNA analysis suggests that the concept of farming was not solely responsible for the many farming societies in early Europe, but also the fact that groups of farmers migrated to Europe.
That doesn’t mean that farming replaced hunter gatherers completely from Europe, it means that these groups survived in different European regions, among communities of farmers.
The latest studies reveal that the Yamnaya people are the closest ancestors to modern European people, based on their DNA analysis.
The researchers say that the Yamnaya people lived among the steppes of western Russia and Ukraine, approximately 5,300 years ago.
These ancient people were skilled shepherds and used horses to manage their sheep.
According to the experts, they had wagons filled with water that they carried with them, as well as food provisions.
Image Source: cbc