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Different ethnic groups have shaped the genetic makeup of today’s Europeans. Through migration from various regions of the world, the genetic material of humans who first arrived in Europe forty thousand years ago has seen drastic changes over the last ten thousand years. By analyzing D.N.A extracted from ancient bones, JOHANNES KRAUSE traces back the genetic ancestry of human beings, especially those living in Europe today. He explains in this video that, using recently developed D.N.A sequencing technologies, the research proves that genetic shifts happened about eight thousand as well as five thousand years ago. These findings correlate with the knowledge of archeologists that cultural changes, such as changes in subsistence strategies, occurred at the same time due to migration. The research presented shows that cultural changes and genetic changes sometimes went hand in hand.


Johannes Krause is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human History in Jena (Germany), where he also acted as a Founding Member, and heads the Department of Archaeogenetics. He is also Honorary Professor for Archaeo- and Palaeogenetics at one of Germany’s oldest and most renowned universities for sciences, the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen.
Krause’s research focuses on human evolution and ancient DNA. In this area, he has made major contributions to the knowledge about the spread of diseases and the evolution and continuation of certain genes. With this research, Krause has illuminated links between modern day humans and ancient related species, such as Neanderthals. He is currently an active member of the Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny and the German Archaeological Institute.


Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology


The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology was founded in 1997. The institute's aim is to investigate the history of humankind with the help of comparative analyses of different genes, cultures, cognitive abilities, languages and social systems of past and present human populations as well as those of primates closely related to human beings.

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Original publication

Ancient Human Genomes Suggest Three Ancestral Populations for Present-day Europeans

Lazaridis Iosif, Patterson Nick, Mittnik Alissa, Renaud Gabriel, Mallick Swapan, Kirsanow Karola, Sudmant Peter H, Schraiber Joshua G, Castellano Sergi, Lipson Mark, Bonnie Berger, Christos Economou, Ruth Bollongino et al
Published in 2014