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Ancestors of Modern Scandinavians Immigrated to Region


A new DNA study from ancient remains has thrown into question the origin of modern Scandinavians. The study just published in the journal Current Biology suggests that modern Scandinavians do not come from ancient hunter-gatherers who inhabited the region more than 4,000 years ago. Until now, it had always been believed that modern Scandinavians were the direct descendants of people who had always lived in the region. Instead, it appears that people living is Scandinavia today are more closely related to stone-age immigrants who moved into the region with the advent of agriculture some 4,000 years ago.

According to co-author Anders Götherström, an evolutionary biologist at Sweden’s Uppsala University, “the hunter-gatherers who inhabited Scandinavia more than 4,000 years ago had a different gene pool than ours”.

Most of Europe is thought to have moved from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural lifestyle more than 6,700 years ago. However, Scandinavia at the northern edge of Europe did not convert to an agricultural lifestyle until some 4,000 years ago. The conversion seems to have occurred roughly at the same time that the agricultural immigrants moved into the region. However, the relationship between the original hunter-gatherers and the agricultural immigrants who became modern Scandinavians is not well understood at all. According to the study, the DNA of the original hunter-gatherers has more in common with modern populations of the eastern Baltic region of Latvia and Lithuania.

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