Three blockbuster papers on ancient DNA just landed in Science Magazine: The genetic history of the Southern Arc: A bridge between West Asia and Europe, A genetic probe into the ancient and medieval history of Southern Europe and West Asia, and, Ancient DNA from Mesopotamia suggests distinct Pre-Pottery and Pottery Neolithic migrations into Anatolia (ungated copies available at the Reich lab website). Why three papers in one issue of Science? The authors claim there was too much data to pack into one publication, which feels right to me. So what do these publications mean for human history and human evolution? Do we now know where the Indo-Europeans were originally from? Were the ancient Classical Greeks blonde? How did farming emerge in Anatolia? What is the relationship of Armenians to other Indo-European-speaking people? These papers tackle a staggering number of questions.
On this episode of the Unsupervised Learning podcast, Razib weighs in and guides us through what the papers mean for our understanding of human genetics and population history and where we go from here. This monologue complements the August 2022 episode where he surveys the great ancient human DNA Diasporas.