Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Iron Age DNA sheds light on Finns’ genetic origin

Iron Age samples from Levänluhta, southern Ostrobothnia, trace lineage to Finland's modern Sámi population. Image: Jussi Mankkinen, Yle

Researchers at Helsinki and Turku universities mapping ancient Finno-Ugric ancestry say modern-day Finns carry genes from diverse populations living in the region of Finland during the Iron Age.

They said they were able to reconstruct 103 complete mitochondrial genomes from archaeological bone samples, allowing them to trace maternal lineage. The samples were collected from burial sites across Finland and the Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Scientists found that genes associated with ancient farmer populations were more common in the east, whereas lineages inherited from hunter-gatherers were more prevalent in the west.

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