Europeans Trace Ancestry to Paleolithic People

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Science  10 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5494, pp. 1080-1081
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5494.1080

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Y chromosome data show that living Europeans have deep roots in the region--and researchers say genetic markers may be linked to cultures known from archaeological remains. In a report on page 1155, an international team reports that a wealth of data from the Y chromosome show that more than 80% of European men have inherited their Y chromosomes--which are transmitted only from father to son--from Paleolithic ancestors who lived 25,000 to 40,000 years ago. Thus, the genetic template for European men was set as early as 40,000 years ago, then modified--but not recast--by the Neolithic farmers who arrived in the region about 10,000 years ago.