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A Short History of Humanity: A New History…
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A Short History of Humanity: A New History of Old Europe (edició 2021)

de Johannes Krause (Autor), Thomas Trappe (Autor), Caroline Waight (Traductor)

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Títol:A Short History of Humanity: A New History of Old Europe
Autors:Johannes Krause (Autor)
Altres autors:Thomas Trappe (Autor), Caroline Waight (Traductor)
Informació:Random House (2021), 288 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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A Short History of Humanity: A New History of Old Europe de Johannes Krause

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A Short History of Humanity is by two German archaeogenetics, which is the study ancient DNA of human, bacteria, animals etc.. One of the authors, Krause, made the discovery of a new human type, the Denisovan, he knows his stuff. The book is quite short, but packs a lot of information yet remains readable for the lay person as an introduction to this otherwise difficult topic. It covers the history of Europe from a genetic perspective from about 11,000 BC to present. Spoiler alert - it's actually very simple; most Europeans have three types of genes. 1) the "original" hunter gatherers who presumably arrived during in the stone age and displaced the neanderthals. 2) neolithic farmers who migrated in from modern-day Turkey via the Balkans around 6,000 BC. 3) a steppe people called the Yamnaya culture from the area north of the Black Sea who arrived in force around 3,000 BC. And that's it. After 3,000 BC the European population was established enough that no new invaders were able to genetically supplant these three dominate genetic markers every European still has. In modern Europeans, the hunter-gatherer genes are most prevalent in Northern countries and least in the south, but in all cases is the least prevalent. of the three types.

Some interesting findings: the original hunter-gatherers were dark skinned, they received abundant Vitamin D through a diet of wild game and fish and did not benefit so much from having light skin in northern latitudes. The neolithic farmers from Turkey were lighter skinned because they ate grains and vegetables, mostly, and required more D from sunlight. This need was magnified in the north and the light-skin adaptation increased. It is thought the Black Death or something like it proceeded the invasions of the Yamnaya culture ca. 3,000 BC, similar to what happened to New World natives in the 16th century. Europeans and American Indians carry similar genes, a surprising finding, but explained by the same group from central Siberia who migrated across the Bering Strait, some also migrated westward into Europe. Thus, the Columbian Exchange was a homecoming by very distant relatives. ( )
1 vota Stbalbach | Apr 27, 2021 |
A reconstruction of European history as it relates to archaeogenetics.

The author is recording the work and heritage of his mentor and the new field of archaeogenetics. He begins with his work in decoding the DNA of the first discovered Denisovan bone. From there the story is primarily focused on what we deem pre-history, exploring what genetics ancient and modern can tell us about how Europe was populated over time.

The story is a new one with some unexpected twists. Europe is inhabited and "de-inhabited" during more expansive ice age times. He speaks of the intermingling of modern humans with Neanderthals and Denisovans. Much is made of the Mal'ta man whose genetics are associated with certain Europeans and Native Americans. The first farmers came from Anatolia and lived near, but did not intermingle much with, more "native" hunter-gatherers. A few still have that heritage, but most ended up getting wiped out, possibly by plague, and definitely by the incoming Yamnaya culture.

By the time one gets to the Bronze Age the authors turn to focus on pandemic disease and how it can be traced in the archaeogenetic record. The book concludes with what seems to be its purpose: to use archaeogenetics to demonstrate how mankind has been peripatetic and has moved around a lot while also spreading disease and supplanting previous populations in the process. Thus, everyone in the immigration arguments of the age have something they can grab a hold of in order to justify their viewpoint.

A good way to get some decent information about where archaeogenetics is at in terms of the European populations.

**- galley received as part of early review program ( )
  deusvitae | Feb 27, 2021 |
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