The Bronze Age likely included a mass shift in population to Eurasia, a new study finds, as cultures, social norms, and much more were thrown into upheaval.
The Bronze Age is seen globally as one of the most defining eras in all of human history. However, for Europeans, this was likely the single most important era that ever came, or went throughout human history. Everything we see today is at least partially attributed to the Bronze Age. Whether we’re talking about the diversity of individuals or the mashing of cultures that exist today. The Bronze Age spurred these things, and now scientists have new data that supports the notion that there was a mass movement to Eurasia.
Eske Willerslev who is the director of the Centre for GeoGenetics pointed out that, “Our study is the first real large-scale population genomic study ever undertaken on ancient individuals. We analyzed genome sequence data from 101 past individuals. This is more than a doubling of the number of genomic sequenced individuals of pre-historic man generated to date.” Willersley went on to point out that, “The results show that the genetic composition and distribution of peoples in Europe and Asia today is a surprisingly late phenomenon – only a few thousand years old.”
The study was published in the journal Nature, and one of the study’s co-authors pointed out that the mystery around lactose was also answered with the results. Martin Sikora said, “Previously the common belief was that lactose tolerance developed in the Balkans or in the Middle East in connection with the introduction of farming during the Stone Age. But now we can see that even late in the Bronze Age the mutation that gives rise to the tolerance is rare in Europe.”
Willersley pointed out that there really was one chief goal with this particular study. He went on pointing out that, “The driving force in our study was to understand the big economical and social changes that happened at the beginning of the third millennium BC.” This is something that has created significant divide in the science and research communities. Better understanding this particular portion of history really makes understanding human history, the cultures that formed in Europe, as well as Asia, and even understanding the roots of some of the languages that were seen in periods following the Bronze Age.
Even Morten Allentoft of the Centre for GeoGenetics pointed out that “Both archaeologists and linguists have had theories about how cultures and languages have spread in our part of the world.” Now, some real answers have been reached, which are based on fact and a combination of statistical features that make sense for the region and time period.