In DepthArchaeology

Immigrants from the Middle East shaped Rome

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Science  08 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6466, pp. 673
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6466.673

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Summary

Two thousand years ago, the streets of Rome bustled with people from all over the ancient world. The empire's trade routes stretched from North Africa to Asia, and new immigrants poured in every day, both by choice and by force. Now, an ancient DNA study has shown those far-flung connections were written in the genomes of the Romans. Before and after the imperial period, Romans resembled other populations in Europe. But during the empire, most of the city residents sampled had ancestry connecting them to Greece, Syria, Lebanon, and other places in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. These links confirm historical and archaeological information about large immigrant populations in the city.

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