The following excerpt is from an interesting story written by reporter Dan Vergano, for the June 13, 2013 edition of USA TODAY.
I’m not even much of a Neanderthal.
Only 1.5% of my genes are traceable to the doughty cavemen who ruled Europe for hundreds of thousands of years. Genetic analysis is lopping whole limbs of family legends off my family tree. No Iroquois princesses hidden among our ancestors, nor Chinese emigres from Marco Polo’s voyages. Nada.
The head of National Geographic’s Genographic Project glances at the results of the gene marker map provided to this reporter. “You do have links to a family of genes shared by only about 4% of Europeans. That’s interesting,” gene mapping expert Spencer Wells says in a sad attempt at consolation.
Some consolation. It turns out that this “V” maternal gene group belongs to some of history’s most storied losers. These were folks who apparently left Spain and headed into Europe about 13,500 years ago at the end of an Ice Age, lodging in a significant way in the frozen forests of northern Finland and spreading thinly across Europe’s belly…