Like roads, many genetic lineages led to ancient Rome

Nov 09, 2019 288

At the height of its empire, the inhabitants of ancient Rome genetically resembled the populations of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, according to a DNA study published Thursday. The paper is based on genome data of 127 individuals from 29 archaeological sites in and around the city state, spanning nearly 12,000 years of Roman prehistory and history.

Rome and central Italy's antiquity is well-documented in the rich archaeological and historical record, but relatively little genetic work had been carried out until now. Writing in the journal Science, researchers from Stanford and Italian universities said people from the city's earliest eras and from after the Western empire's decline in the 4th Century CE genetically resembled other Western Europeans.

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