Ancient DNA from Sardinia

Ötzi the Iceman is an almost perfectly preserved, 5,300-year-old human discovered in alpine ice in northern Italy in 1991. Among modern Europeans, Ötzi’s DNA is most similar to modern-day Sardinians.

This article and paper describe an analysis of genome-wide DNA data for 70 individuals from more than 20 Sardinian archaeological sites spanning roughly 6,000 years from the Middle Neolithic through the Medieval period. Sardinian individuals in the Middle Neolithic period (4100-3500 BCE) were closely related to people from mainland Europe of the time. Genetic ancestry then remained relatively stable on the island until about 900BC when they detected evidence of the arrival of different populations across the Mediterranean, first with Phoenicians from the Levant, Punics from Carthage, and then the Roman period.

Ancient DNA from Sardinia reveals changing genetic connectivity across the Mediterranean over 6,000 years-

Marcus, J.H., Posth, C., Ringbauer, H. et al. Genetic history from the Middle Neolithic to present on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. Nat Commun 11, 939 (2020).

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