DNA analysis traces origins of Minoans and Mycenaeans
2nd August 2017
by Katherine Lindemann
The ancient civilizations central to Greek mythology had surprisingly diverse heritage.
The Minoans and Mycenaeans were prominent Bronze Age civilizations (c. 2600 - 1100 BC), known in part through ancient poetic works like those of Homer. Until now, little was known about their origins. A new genetic analysis of the DNA of ten Minoans and four Myceneans has found evidence of ancestry from as far away as the Caucasus, modern-day Iran, and Siberia. We spoke with the study’s author, Harvard University geneticist Iosif Lazaridis, to learn more.