Thursday, November 4, 2021

Who We Are and How We Got Here

I am reading David Reich’s book Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past. In Chapter 5, "The Making of Modern Europe,” he writes: “People like those at Stonehenge were building great temples to their gods, and tombs for their dead, and could not have known that within a few hundred years their descendants would be gone and their lands overrun. The extraordinary fact that emerges from ancient DNA is that just five thousand years ago, the people who are now the primary ancestors of all extant northern Europeans had not yet arrived.” The human genome is capable of providing some pathbreaking insights into the story of our species. The geneticists are presenting a wholly new account of prehistory.

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