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Genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans

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Republication from  nature.com

 

 

The origins of the Bronze Age Minoan and Mycenaean cultures have puzzled archaeologists for more than a century. We have assembled genome-wide data from 19 ancient individuals, including Minoans from Crete, Mycenaeans from mainland Greece, and their eastern neighbours from southwestern Anatolia. Here we show that Minoans and Mycenaeans were genetically similar, having at least three-quarters of their ancestry from the first Neolithic farmers of western Anatolia and the Aegean1,2, and most of the remainder from ancient populations related to those of the Caucasus3 and Iran4,5.

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Aegean Koine: the Minoan phase ca. 2200-1400 BCE

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01
The Minoan phase of the Aegean Koine (economic and socio-cultural “Commonwealth”) in this excellent German map. Note the colonies of the Minoans on the nearby islands and their influence on the mainland.
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War was central to Europe’s first civilisation (Minoan)- contrary to popular belief

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Minoan swords1

A collection of bronze swords and daggers from the Arkalochori Cave, Crete, belonging to the Late Minoan Era (1700-1450 BC) before the Mycenaean conquest of Knossos (c.1450). (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Crete).


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